In contrast to the prevailing media coverage of the decline in church attendance (although not of those who visit and worship in cathedrals) is the very notable growth in chaplaincy. Chaplains have been working within hospitals and prisons for many years and the armed forces have also routinely incorporated chaplains within their operational units since for at least two centuries.
School chaplaincy is now growing at an unprecedented rate, not only in independent schools with a religious foundation but also within increasing numbers and types of maintained school. Models of chaplaincy are also diversifying as is the background of those called to work in this field. SCALA is hoping to work increasingly closely with other organisation with an interest in this field over the coming months and years.
From 13-15 June 2013 is the Second National School Chaplaincy Conference, to be held at Liverpool Hope University two years after the inaugural conference in 2011. It is hoped that chaplains, lay and ordained, form all types of school will feel drawn to this Conference, the application form for which is available on SCALA website. Being able to listen to individuals of prominence in the field of chaplaincy or related contexts and being able to compare noters with colleagues is, what is believed, many chaplains will find nourishing and stimulating.
It can be most cogently argued that the greatest impact that the Church can have on young people is through ministry and mission in schools because this is where all young people are to be found, at any rate until they are 16.