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Spiritual Care


Spiritual care has always been a feature of Salvation Army programs and services. From the very beginning spirituality was seen as an essential ingredient of caring for people in a holistic way.  At Crossroads spiritual care is provided by our team of chaplains. These chaplains work in partnership with other staff from to ensure a holistic approach to your needs. Confidentiality is central to the chaplain’s relationship with you and sometimes they may advocate on your behalf, or refer you to specialists from other professional backgrounds, to meet your needs.

What is Spiritual Care ?

“Spiritual care can be any service or act that helps an individual, family or community to draw on a spiritual perspective as a source of strength and healing”. (act alliance - http://psychosocial.actalliance.org/default.aspx?di=67068)

Good spiritual care today is non-denominational or faith specific; it cares for those from a range of religious traditions as well as those who understand faith and spiritualty apart from this. It also cares for those who view themselves as spiritual beings but are searching to articulate just what this ‘spirituality’ means for themselves.

Gary Bouma in his book ‘Australian Soul’ suggests that spirituality is alive and well in Australian society but exists within a context that is broader than historic religious tradition and identity.

It is within such an Australian context that Crossroads chaplains provide care today. Service provision is broad and seeks to service spiritual need across a range of settings. Chaplains do not seek to proselytise or recruit for The Salvation Army. Rather, chaplains provide quality spiritual services that are caring, professional, flexible, and need oriented.

This may include: 

  • Providing a listening ear
  • Helping you sort through your thoughts and emotions
  • Allowing you to ask the big questions of life and meaning
  • Recognising and valuing that which is of deep intrinsic and personal value to you
  • Clarifying or reframing religious jargon
  • Access to sacred texts and religious tools
  • Providing religious services or rituals
  • Referral to religious leaders from your faith tradition
  • Finding a suitable faith community
  • Any service or act that helps you find meaning, purpose and value

What Spiritual care is not ?


  • Spiritual care is not therapy
  • It is not case management
  • It is not giving advice or direction
  • Not preaching or proselytizing
  • It is not recruiting for The Salvation Army

Chaplains Code of Conduct

 In 2012 The Salvation Army Melbourne Central Division developed a Chaplains code of conduct. This Code has been accepted and endorsed by Crossroads chaplains and is foundational to spiritual care provision across the network.

A copy of the Chaplains Code of Conduct can be viewed here.

Introducing the Crossroads Chaplains

les smith

Les Smith

Les is the Senior Chaplain at Crossroads and has worked in various capacities within The Salvation Army for over 25 years. He has experience in a wide range of settings including, homelessness, Crisis Intervention, Courts & Prisons and Employment services. As a chaplain with fifteen years’ experience in providing supervision and support for other chaplains he was appointed to his current role in 2013. Les finds it an enormous privilege to coordinate such a caring and creative team of quality chaplains. 

Les enjoys sharing community and exploring spirituality as leader of Salvo House Church, a Salvation Army incarnational faith community that has just celebrated ten years of service to the local community. As a Salvationist of 35 years plus he loves The Salvation Army and could think of no greater calling than to serve others in this way.

Vicki McMahon (Major)

Vicki has been a Salvation Army officer (minister) for 24 years. In 1992 she was appointed as an officer to Crossroads as a chaplain where she provided high quality chaplaincy services and laid the ground work for Crossroads ongoing spiritual care. In 1997 she was appointed to Peninsula Youth & Family Services as Chaplain and then to The Melbourne Children's Court in 2000 where she served for 14 years and earned a reputation for quality professional care and support to clients and staff alike. In 2014 Vicki has been reappointed back to the Crossroads network with particular responsibility for chaplaincy services at our Bridgehaven site.

Vicki is passionate about families and has special responsibility for children’s ministry at the Corps she regularly attends. Vicki is a strong advocate for social justice and has significant experience in working with marginalised and disadvantaged people.

Rose Stewart

Rose started in Mary Anderson Family Violence Program around 20 years ago and has provided quality spiritual care ever since.  She has worked across all programs within the network and currently provides care to staff and residents of Tranmere Street Youth refuge. Rose has been a Salvationist for more years than she cares to remember and understands that caring for others and providing spiritual care is important in all aspects of life, not just something that occurs in church of a Sunday.

Rose continues to provide quality spiritual care to any person that comes across her path seeking this, both within and outside of Crossroads network. Rose has a straightforward manner, is friendly and easy to get along with.


Isobel Thomas (Captain)

‘Issy’ has been involved in ministry for many years, as a lay person and more recently as an officer (minister) of The Salvation Army. While living in Alice Springs she was involved in ministry to the indigenous people of Australia. Issy moved to Melbourne in 2001 to train as an Officer and in 2003 was appointed to Mill Park as manager of the Community support program at the Plenty Valley church. In 2004 Issy went to Healesville for four years as the minister of the church and in 2008 moved to the Preston Corps as an associate minister. In 2010 she commenced her current appointment as a chaplain at Crossroads Youth and Family services.

Issy is passionate about people and caring for them. She has a special interest in cross cultural ministry and loves working with kids. Issy has also trained in hospital ministry and visiting people in hospital is a part of what she does. As a chaplain she enjoys coming alongside people, listening to their stories and journeying with them. Issy feels that it is a real privilege to be a chaplain within The Salvation Army.

How Do I Contact a Chaplain ?


If you would like to contact one of our chaplains please call 9353 1011 and ask to speak to a chaplain.

Or contact via email at:

Les Smith: les.smith@aus.salvationarmy.org

Vicki McMahon: vicki.mcmahon@aus.salvationarmy.org

Rose Stewart: rosemary.stewart@aus.salvationarmy.org

Isobel Thomas: isobel.thomas@aus.salvationarmy.org

Related Documents


Salvation Army Chaplaincy

Salvation Army Theology for Mission