Joining the ranks: AOG's first Army Chaplain
Richard Meikle, 36, part of Eagles Nest Church in Nottingham, spoke to AOG chaplaincy Representative David Spademan seven years ago, because he was interested in becoming a chaplain. AOG had just become a sending organization for Chaplains, and Meikle was in the territorial army reserves at the time.
It wasn’t an easy or a quick task to become an army chaplain – he needed training and five years experience in church leadership within AOG, and training in the army too. But Meikle persevered, and has just become AOG’s first ever Army Chaplain. We spoke to him to find out some more.
“I’m attached to a regiment of about 450 men and women, and I’m responsible for their spiritual wellbeing. I’m highly privileged to be there, to be accepted in a house that isn’t a church at all.
“What has surprised me is how accepted Chaplains are in the army family. They don’t want you to be a soldier but a pastor – someone that people can come and confide in. And people are very responsive to what we have to say.”
“It’s an open door to go and talk to people in their world. It’s an amazing position because you straddle both worlds and people feel comfortable talking to you. It’s a huge opportunity for AOG – not everyone has to be a minister in a church.
“People who are interested should definitely find out more, it’s a huge opportunity.”
AOG Chaplaincy Representative David Spademan said: “I couldn’t be more excited about our first army chaplain, it’s an historical day. Richard has done so well and has been so determined to get to this point.”