A Roman soldier saw a beggar by the roadside on a cold day, the soldier split his cloak in two with his sword, and gave half the cloak to the beggar. The soldier became the first `chaplain` as this was the word for cloak.
Today we have chaplains in the military, in hospitals, in universities, in industry, in sport, in airports and even in shopping malls. There are about 15,000 of them in the UK and most of these are voluntary.
What does a chaplain do? They simply come alongside folk and encourage and befriend them or just be there. No praying or sharing their faith, unless asked, just be there. Many football clubs and companies who have invited chaplains in to mix with their staff have found that attitudes and culture have become more friendly and positive over a period.
I have just completed a short course to be a chaplain in the local racing industry. It was called `Chaplaincy Everywhere`. We can all be chaplains wherever we are.