North Wales Police have welcomed four new Chaplains who will provide a ‘listening ear’ and additional support for officers, staff and volunteers.
Chief Officers, the Workforce Representation Team, alongside the Citizens in Policing Team have been focusing on the development of additional multi-faith volunteer Chaplains, to help provide pastoral and spiritual care for the police service in an increasingly challenging time.
Policing can be a demanding and difficult role, particularly as so many of the things that officers and staff deal with are of a sensitive nature which means they are often unable to discuss what they do with even their nearest and dearest.
Those wanting someone to talk to, whatever the situation or subject and irrespective of religious background will now have a team from the chaplaincy service who will provide ‘a listening ear’ and where required, additional spiritual support.
The four new Police Chaplains are the Reverend Lesley Randle of the Bro Seiriol Ministry Area on Anglesey, Reverend Ant Howe from the Trawsfynydd area, Pastor Laurie Searle who is also a Co-ordinator for the Wrexham Street Pastors and Chaplain at Wrexham’s Glyndŵr University and Llinos Mai Morris who is a Youth and Children’s Community worker and a Pastoral Carer for Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru in Caernarfon. They will be working alongside North Wales Police’ Lead Chaplain, Gerald Williams who joined North Wales Police in 2015.
Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki said: “I am pleased to welcome the newest members of our multi-faith Chaplaincy to the North Wales Police family.
“With officers, staff and volunteers often having to deal with distressing incidents as well as having the pressure of making difficult decisions that can have a huge impact on people’s lives, the chaplaincy are an integral part of the policing family.
“Policing can be a tough job and the team of Chaplains will be available to help provide compassionate support to those who have often faced harrowing and stressful situations.
“The team will be a great source of comfort to those in need - providing impartial pastoral and spiritual care to our increasingly diverse workforce.”
One of the new Volunteer Police Chaplains is the Reverend Lesley Randle. She is an associate Vicar in the Bro Seriol Ministry Area on Anglesey. She said: “With previous experience of School Chaplaincy, I pride myself on being visible and approachable and see chaplaincy as being as much about the informal, spontaneous conversations that arise during day to day encounters as it is about the more planned and focussed discussions.
“I believe we are all spiritual beings, whether or not we express that through a particular faith. In policing, spiritual issues of life and death, fairness, justice, right and wrong, are dealt with on a daily basis and although I certainly have no answers, I hope, as a Chaplain, to be able to support and promote spiritual health at all levels within North Wales Police.”
The new Chaplains will be supported directly by the Force Citizens in Policing Team and the Health and Wellbeing department.
Citizens in Policing Manager, Chris Perkins said: “Our people and their wellbeing are a priority for us, and ensuring that our workforce is fit, healthy and happy in mind, body, and work-life will enable us to achieve our vision of making north Wales the safest place in the UK.
“The service provided by our Chaplains will complement other departments such as occupational health, welfare and counselling, wellbeing, and staff networks and associations. They can also signpost to other organisations if required.
He added: “We are extremely proud of our Volunteering Programme, which aims to enable members of the local community to actively engage with their local policing teams and support the Force with keeping communities safe and reassured.
“Those who give us just a little bit of their time can have a real impact on the area where they live, and I’m sure the recruitment of the new volunteer Chaplains will be seen as a positive move, and one that will be of benefit to all North Wales Police employees.”