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First of its kind: UK trains Ukrainian military chaplains

Credit: British Army
First of its kind: UK trains Ukrainian military chaplains

A historic two-week training program has just seen ten Ukrainian military chaplains graduate in the UK

Ten Ukrainian military chaplains have recently concluded a two-week training course with their British counterparts, INews reported. This training is a first of its kind to occur on British soil, aiming to equip the chaplains with the necessary religious and practical resources to support personnel through challenging operations, including dealing with bereavement, loss, and mental health difficulties.

The Reverend Michael D Parker KHC CF, Chaplain General, stated, “It has been the greatest of privileges to work with our Ukrainian Partner Forces to develop an understanding of chaplaincy within high-intensity warfare.” He stressed the importance of chaplains in monitoring and sustaining the moral component of fighting power.

This initiative responded to a request from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, aiming to bolster chaplaincy, a critical capability for Ukrainian commanders, amidst the ongoing war against Russia. The chaplains will now move to the front line, where they are expected to provide spiritual support, restore hope, and strengthen morale among Ukrainian troops battling for their nation’s sovereignty.

All photos: British Army

Reverend Robin Richardson, Chaplain, Royal Army Chaplain’s Department, and the key figure in developing the program, emphasized the necessity of spiritual support, moral guidance, and pastoral care in any context, especially in war. He expressed his hopes that the training would enhance the effectiveness of the chaplains in their frontline roles.

The UK and its allies have so far trained over 15,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel. The UK Government also pledged £2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) of military aid to Ukraine in 2022, with plans to match this figure in 2023.

Lviv Garrison Church chaplains help soldiers find God amid war. And a pair of good boots

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