Right Reverend Susan Brown visits Royal Navy in Scotland

Giant Aircraft Carrier Prince of Wales, the Home of the UK Submarine Service, and Royal Marines from Arbroath’s 45 Commando were among the Royal Navy units recently visited by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Giant Aircraft Carrier Prince of Wales, the Home of the UK Submarine Service, and Royal Marines from Arbroath’s 45 Commando were among the Royal Navy units recently visited by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 

From Monday, February 11 to Friday, February 17, The Right Reverend Susan Brown and her team were out and about at naval establishments on both the east and west coast of Scotland. 

They were there to meet some of the men and women who help protect the United Kingdom and learn more about the Senior Service’s presence across the region.

Speaking of her visit, the Right Reverend Susan Brown said:

“The trip is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the work being done by the various arms of the Royal Navy, including HMS Prince of Wales, Royal Naval Reserve, Cadets, Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Navy Unit, Royal Marines, pool drill, Royal Marine Band and the charity Aggie's.

“It's also been a chance to connect with the Naval community and to see the rich seam of opportunity for so many skills and also for chaplaincy.

“There’s been lots of chances to talk with all sorts of young people about life and faith.

“If only I was younger...!”

The trip is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the work being done by the various arms of the Royal Navy

Right Reverend Susan Brown

Royal Navy Chaplains of all denominations play an important role in the Service, connecting with Royal Navy personnel and providing pastoral care, spiritual and moral leadership.  They also play a central part in giving support to the families of naval personnel.

During her visit, the Moderator was accompanied by Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet, Reverend Professor Scott Shackleton, and staff from Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland’s (NRCSNI) office.

Together they spent time with Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) and took to the water with them on board patrol boat, HMS Pursuer, for a sail on the River Clyde. 

She also visited MOD Caledonia and HMS Scotia in Rosyth where, among other things, she took part in lifeboat drills at the site’s swimming pool, learning some survival at sea techniques.  She also met with members of the Royal Marine Band Scotland at the site. 

Glasgow’s Royal Navy Reserve Unit HMS Dalriada was also included, as was a tour of BAE Systems’ shipyard at Scotstoun to see the construction of Type 26 HMS Glasgow.  

Later in the week the team were at the Royal Navy’s biggest establishment in Scotland – HM Naval Base Clyde – where they met submariners, Royal Marines from 43 Commando, training staff from Flag Officer Sea Training (North), and conducted a tour of mine hunter HMS Grimsby, courtesy of the Faslane-based First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1).

While at the site, the Moderator also spent time with naval families and charities, and was present for the awarding of a medal to Naval Chaplain, the Reverend Mark Dalton.  Rev Dalton was given his Long Service & Good Conduct medal by Commodore Donald Doull, Naval Base Commander Clyde, in recognition of 15 years of exemplary naval service. 

Captain Chris Smith, Naval Regional Commander for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “It has been a real pleasure and privilege to host the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this week and showcase the breadth of the Naval Service in Scotland.

“We are delighted that the Moderator has given us so much time and shown such interest in our people, their families and the operational activities that takes place in and around Scotland, as well as the wider global operations being conducted by Scottish based Units.”

Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet, Reverend Professor Scott Shackleton, continued:

“It has been made special this year for me to host the visit in Scotland since my promotion to Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet as I am myself a Church of Scotland Minister.  I am incredibly proud of the work of the Naval Service in Scotland and indeed the Kirk which the Moderator represents. 

“It has been a special time to be able to reacquaint the Navy and Kirk to one another once more, but this time in Scotland.”