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William Booth's concern for a person's physical as well as spiritual wellbeing is reflected in the wide network of Salvation Army social and community services that exist today. Captain Nigel Platts discusses The Salvation Army Westcare's Chaplaincy service.


Chaplaincy is a rather diverse area of ministry that in recent years has been full of different roles and situations. It is a real privilege to journey with people and to sit alongside our workers when they talk about the complexity of caring for young people in our care. I never cease to be amazed by the way in which God works through people. My role as Chaplain in the last two years has involved Pastoral support to staff and clients alike, as well as facilitating the Positive Lifestyle Program.

Over the last two years at Westcare, there have been some staff changes which have taken place, with some longer serving members moving on. But despite that, what a great place this is - full of great people doing great things! God, I believe, has blessed us with staff members who display those qualities that Paul talked about in Matthew 25:38-40:

"When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go with you?" The King will reply: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me". (NIV Bible)

The Positive Lifestyle Program has seen most referrals coming from the Ministry of Justice and also a few self-referrals. In all, approximately, 12-15 people have been engaged in the past twelve months with 100% to-date completing the ten-week program focused on self awareness, anxiety, stress, problem solving and self care.

I thank God for the blessings and the challenges that have been mine. 

What is Chaplaincy?

A Chaplain is essentially a spiritual representative attached to a Social Program within the Salvation Army. Chaplains also work in Courts, Prisons, Hospitals, Defence Services, Fire Brigades and also a Flying Padre who services the outback (Northern Territory). In Salvation Army terms they may be a ordained, commissioned Officer or a lay Chaplain who works within the same theological guidelines as an ordained Officer.

While chaplaincy has traditionally been associated with representatives of the Christian faith, the term is now used for representatives of any faith. We as Chaplains within the Salvation Army stand by the International Mission Statement.