A Bishop’s Chaplain: ‘A unique position’

graham-sykesA Bishop’s Chaplain is in a unique position in that it is very much focused around supporting one person in their mission and ministry. I have often joked that to be a bishop’s chaplain means that you have to have the skills of being a human coat hanger and book stand, bag carrier, bishop’s memory, shadow and general factotum.

The job is of course much more complicated than that involving support for the clergy, an interface with the Registry over legal issues, dealing sensitively with people in distressing situations sometimes where the Church has hurt them. One of my roles is to be a prayerful sounding board because like every minister the Bishop needs confidential support.

I would encourage all Christians to pray for all ministers including clergy, LLMs and bishops.

What gets me out of bed in a morning is the knowledge that if I do my job well the Bishop is liberated to do the things that he is particularly gifted in, meaning that he can play to his strengths and the bishop’s chaplain’s work strengthens his weaknesses. In my year of service so far I particularly enjoyed the planning of worship at the clergy conference, the planning of logistics of the Thames Pilgrimage, planning the worship for the Grand Day Out and for the Bishop’s farewell service.

During the vacancy my role is to support Bishop Colin and Archdeacon Martin in maintaining all the functions of the Office of the Bishop of Oxford.

This is an older post. Please note that the information may not be accurate anymore.