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Chaplains

The Ideal Organisation

The Ideal Organisation

In each war it must take a lengthy period for the different parts of the Army to discover under fresh circumstances the best system of administration, and when something like perfection has been page 126 gained it is only natural for the administrator to look back wistfully and wish that he had known as much at the beginning of the war. Looking back on the life of the Chaplains' Department—admittedly being wise after the event—it would seem that there was a real place for a small administrative headquarters consisting of a staff chaplain with a telephone, a clerk, and an office next door to the Senior Chaplain, Great care would have been needed in the selection of a staff chaplain. The type of man needed was one who had served with a combatant unit, with a mature character that would at once stand up to the deadening atmosphere of Base and also enable him to help his brothers in the field. His duties would be to evolve a system of records and religious statistics; he would keep in close touch with every chaplain and pass on to them important news and descriptions of successful experiments. He would also keep a roll of keen Church members and candidates for the Christian Ministry, passing this information on to the Senior Chaplain of each denomination. He would be responsible for everything that might be termed ‘chaplains' publicity’ and could help the Senior Chaplain in keeping some continuity in the work at Base.

The chaplains often discussed Departmental organisation, and several times it was suggested that there should be one senior Chaplain-General in New Zealand to control chaplaincy work in the three services and formulate matters of high policy with the Minister of Defence. But the chaplains always realised that if the wrong man was made Chaplain-General things would be worse than ever, and no doubt too little administration is better than too much in affairs of religion.