There are about 120 Waterways Chaplains who operate along the canals or rivers across the UK. Chaplains are Christian volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds, perhaps partly retired and looking to be a volunteer and 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 begin as Probationary Chaplains in a period of discernment 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 National Lead Waterways Chaplain, Rev Chris Upton and two Lead Chaplains, Howie Pickering, who covers the North, and Rev Sarah Hayes who leads the South of England team. Reporting into Howie and Sarah are a further eleven Senior Waterways Chaplains, who together, complete our senior team. You can see all the senior team members and view their Bios here.
Our aim at Waterways Chaplaincy is to provide coverage for as much of the UK’s 2000 miles of waterways as we can and we divide the waterways network into ‘Hubs’, from London and the Home counties, to Wales, East and West Midlands, Skipton to Trent & Mersey, Lancaster to Lincoln.
We also have a Hub comprising a team of four volunteer Chaplains who work in the Norfolk and Suffolk broads area, you can see more about this hub here.
Our volunteer chaplains are spread out across these regions and you can use this link to identify a chaplain by name and view a photograph of each one of us. You can also view a map of the UK which shows the approximate locations of our chaplains throughout the country. To view the map, click HERE
If you would like to get in touch, or support us in the work we do, then please follow either of the links below.