A chaplain serving with HM Forces is addressed in speech by his ecclesiastical rank and never in speech by his relative service rank. It is not necessary to write the service rank, but when used formally it must appear in brackets after the ecclesiastical title and before the chaplain’s forename or initials.
It is no longer the case, in any of the services, that the role is always taken by an Anglican – Heads of Chaplaincy can be chaplains from any of the contributing churches, so there is no title common to them.
The principal Anglican chaplain in each of the services (who may or may not be the service’s Head of Chaplaincy) will continue to be made an archdeacon with the title ‘The Venerable’. The principal Roman Catholic chaplain in each of the services (who may or may not be the service’s Head of Chaplaincy) will continue to be made Vicar General of the Bishopric of the Forces with the title ‘Monsignor’.
Other chaplains are addressed by name/appointment: for example, ‘Dear Canon Ryder’ or ‘Dear Mr Ryder’. If the name is used, the appointment is placed after it: ‘The Reverend John Ryder, OBE, CF, Assistant Chaplain General, HQ, Blankshire Command’.
Army chaplains have the letters ‘CF’ (Chaplain to the Forces) after the name, following any decorations etc. The letters ‘RN’ or ‘RAF’ are placed after the names of chaplains to these services, following any decorations etc.
Verbally a chaplain is addressed by name or ecclesiastical title, or, informally, as ‘Padre’.
When the chaplain’s name is not known, correspondence should be addressed to, for example, ‘The Church of England Chaplain, RAF Station, Blanktown’.
Correspondence to a Jewish chaplain is addressed to, for example, ‘The Reverend David Golden, CF, Senior Jewish Chaplain, Blanktown Garrison’, etc; the verbal address is ‘Rabbi’, ‘Minister’ or ‘Padre’, as may be appropriate.