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Chaplain FAQs

Who is responsible for Boys’ Brigade in the local church?
Boys’ Brigade is part of the ministry of the church, run locally and supported by a staff team at Newport, Culcavy. Church leadership is ultimately responsible for the BB company in their church.

Who appoints leaders?
The church. Leaders must be registered with The Northern Ireland Boys’ Brigade (BBNI) but their selection rests with the church. BBNI works with the church to ensure safeguarding procedures are followed.

Who is responsible for the finance of the BB company?
The church. The BB company pays annual fees to BBNI; however, the finances of each individual company are the responsibility of the church. Staff at Newport can provide guidance on fundraising and grants, particularly Education Authority funding that is available to local BB companies.

How involved should I be as a chaplain?
Chaplains all approach the role in different ways. We’d encourage as much involvement as possible so that BB is truly integrated into the ministry of the church.

Does the chaplain have to be the Minister?
No, the church leadership may decide to appoint a youth/children’s worker or member of the leadership team as chaplain. There can be more than one chaplain, particularly for BB companies that are attached to more than one church.

Do leaders have to attend the same church as the BB company is in?
The church appoints BB leaders and can decide what their leadership criteria is.

How can I integrate BB into the wider youth & children’s ministry?
Encourage leaders of all organisations to come together for prayer and encouragement and to plan activities within the context of the whole church. BBNI run regular chaplains breakfasts which enable chaplains to share experiences with other chaplains so that we can all learn from each other.

I’m not happy about the direction of my BB, what can I do?
Talk to your leadership team and chat to us in Newport. We can facilitate meetings with you and your leaders and perhaps offer a different perspective, based on our conversations with many other BB leaders and chaplains. It may be helpful to chat to other chaplains – we can introduce you to some, particularly if you’d like to talk to chaplains outside of your own denomination or network. The BBNI framework is flexible to enable churches to tailor their programme to meet the needs of the children and young people and the gifts and skills of the leaders.

What do I do about leaders who aren’t living out Christian values, not attending church or involved in church life in any way?
Leaders are appointed by the church. The Bible is at the centre of everything we seek to do in BBNI. A range of training, resources and events are run to assist leaders with their Christian walk. Ultimately, it is the church that makes decisions on the suitability of leaders. The church also has a responsibility to care for and inspire leaders and to assist them with developing their faith.

What must I do at an Enrolment service?
We recommend that the chaplain and captain/ leaders work together on an enrolment service that fulfils the purpose of enrolling/ commissioning the leaders and acknowledging the children and young people but more importantly, capitalises on the opportunity to reach parents and children who don’t attend church. Thought should be given to how best to relate to the children and young people. It should be an enjoyable occasion for children/ young people and their parents and in many cases, may be their first introduction to church.
The use of flags and singing of the National Anthem is at the discretion of the church.