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’Padre, can I have a word?’

Jackie Macadam learns about the life and background of the Rev Dr David Coulter, Chaplain General to HM Land Forces.

PROFILE

“THE Kirk has a very long and proud history within the forces. Scottish Regiments like nothing better than having a padre who is one of their own. As Chaplain General I am very conscious that I stand on the shoulders of giants.”

The Rev Dr David Coulter, Chaplain General to HM Land Forces, is talking about his feelings as he ‘represents’ the Church of Scotland at the highest levels of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.

“Since 1796 there have only been 23 Chaplain Generals and I have the enormous privilege to be the 24th. I am also only the second Church of Scotland minister to hold this position after the Very Rev Dr James Harkness. I became the Chaplain General on September 17 2014, the day before the Scottish Independence vote, and received the blessing of the Church of Scotland by the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers in a wonderful service in St Giles’ Cathedral.

“I feel I can represent the spiritual and pastoral needs to our people to the Army Board as well as to Church leaders across the UK including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. It is also significant that we rely heavily upon the Endorsing Authorities and their faith specific help; support and advice from the Buddhist; Hindu; Jewish; Muslims and Sikh faith communities. Our aim is to provide the best possible faith specific provision for all our people.”

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE REMEMBRANCE SPECIAL - Marking the centenary of the end of WW1 AN EMINENT WAR SCOT 'THERE BUT NOT THERE...' - Prayer from a Padre 'PADRE, CAN I HAVE A WORD?' - The life of the Chaplain General, a Church of Scotland minister