Metropolitan Police appoint overseer for pastoral and spiritual care

By staff writers
December 13, 2009

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has appointed a clergyman as its senior chaplain, but emphasises that his role will be to ensure that the diverse pastoral and spiritual needs of a mixed-belief service are met.

The Rev Jonathan Osborne is being asked to oversee the provision of spiritual, pastoral and religious support to the police across 32 London Boroughs and in six areas corresponding to Church of England dioceses - including London, Southwark, Chelmsford, Rochester, St Albans and Guildford.

Mr Osborne will take "a strategic view of chaplaincy across the whole of the MPS and his role will involve establishing a network of voluntary leaders drawn from different faiths to meet the diverse needs of the London police service and their families."

Mr Osborne commented on his role: “I am greatly looking forward to the task ahead, which will involve providing spiritual and pastoral support to members of the MPS and their families, regardless of their faith."

He added: “The challenges that the MPS face on a daily basis are incredibly varied. So at first I plan to spend time getting to know what it is that individuals need from a chaplaincy service. Then I can establish a team that can best provide this support.”

Martin Tiplady, the director of human resources for the Metropolitan Police Service, welcomed the appointment and said: "Chaplaincy has an important role in servicing the emotional and spiritual needs of our officers and I look forward to Jonathan working with us to develop the extent and offerings of a multi-faith service.”

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