Our Team

There are about 100 Waterways Chaplains who operate along the canals or rivers across the UK. Chaplains are christian volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds, perhaps retired church members, GP’s, anglers who want to serve their community, or maybe just people who see a need along the waterways near to where they live.

All chaplains receive training and support from a member of the senior team and start off as probationery chaplains before being officially licenced. Chaplains often work as a couple or a husband and wife team and, as chaplains, we are all very connected into our local communities. We aim to both respond to referrals and proactively ‘come alongside’ boaters in need, especially those with personal challenges.


The Waterways Chaplains senior team is made up of the senior national waterways chaplain, Rev Mark Chester and two lead chaplains, Barbara Davis, who covers the North, and Rev Sarah Hayes who leads the South of England team. Reporting into Barbara and Sarah are a further seven senior waterways chaplains, who together, complete our senior team. You can see all the senior team members and view their Bios here.

National Training Day for Waterways Chaplains

Our aim at Waterways Chaplaincy is to provide coverage for as much of the UK Canal and River network as we can and we divide the waterways network into 10 regions, from London and the Home counties, to Wales, East and West Midlands and the North.

Our volunteer chaplains are spread out across these regions and you can view a map of the UK showing where our chaplains are located. You can also use this link to identify a chaplain by name and view a photograph of each one of us.


If you would like to get in touch, or support us in the work we do, then please follow either of the links below.