Prison Chaplain - Church of Scotland

HMP Greenock
F - £45,566-£48,640 pro rata
Closing date
04/01/2023, 12:00
Part Time
22 hours per week

The Prison Chaplain (Church of Scotland) carries out their duties in co-operation with members of an ecumenical and inter-faith chaplaincy team. Together they are responsible for the provision of chaplaincy services to all persons in custody at HMP GREENOCK. 

 There are three important areas of work, these are:

  • Religious Care is offered to all those wishing to practice their faith and includes leading regular services of prayers, Mass, worship, celebration of the sacraments, studies of religious texts, and faith-based groups.
  • Pastoral Care is provided, usually individually, to everyone and particularly those in most need – the bereaved and the distressed, those who are at risk of harm to self, and those most vulnerable including new admissions.
  • Spiritual Care accompanies and supports people of all faiths and none on their journey to discover purpose and meaning in life and to develop the resources to live a fulfilled life.


As part of your application, you will be required to provide a response to a question on each of these key areas. 


The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) Strategy Framework on Spiritual and Pastoral Care, Religion and Belief, is the foundational document for the delivery of chaplaincy across the SPS and the practice of prison chaplains should reflect this. This may be found at:


Provide Religious Services and Advice

Responsible for the arrangement and leading of weekly religious services in the relevant faith-tradition, ensuring continuity of provision for weekly religious services (including with chaplains of other establishments and/or through partnership with local churches and faith groups, where possible). 

Arranging access to representatives of other faith and belief traditions when requested and in line with SPS protocols.

Arrange marriages when requested (where appropriate) and provide advice to local management and staff on religious issues.


Provide Religious Care

Make arrangements for religious teaching in the relevant faith-tradition. This will include individual and group discussions concerning the study of scripture and tradition, moral and ethical matters, and classes leading to religious confirmation or initiation e.g. baptism

Recruit Chaplaincy Volunteers and provide monitoring and assurance in compliance with SPS Volunteering Protocols and in liaison with other Chaplaincy Team members.


Provide Pastoral Care


Provide  pastoral care to all as part of the Integrated Care Pathway (ICP), sharing important information with others; with a priority for the vulnerable, new admissions,  those on SPS prevention of suicide strategy (Talk to Me),  and in segregation units. Chaplains are also available to staff.

 Chaplains are part of an interfaith and ecumenical Chaplaincy Team, and must be prepared to provide advice and support to all in SPS care, including those of other faiths, traditions and beliefs (and none).

Provide Bereavement Care


Provide immediate care to those who are bereaved who are residents or working in prison.  This may include assisting with Funeral arrangements and leading memorial services, providing ongoing support and signposting where necessary.


Provide bereavement support for those who are experiencing unresolved grief due to a loss prior to imprisonment

Support the whole prison community following a Death in Custody, ensuring all relevant Chaplaincy protocols are followed, including support and liaison with families, and engaging with the SPS Death in Prison Learning and Review process.


Provide Spiritual Care

Working together with SPS colleagues as part of the Integrated Care Pathway (and with external organisations where appropriate) to provide encouragement, role modelling, building self-esteem and opportunities to belong; accompanying and supporting people of all faiths and none on their journey to discover purpose and meaning in life, developing the resources to live a fulfilled life.

Facilitate Throughcare

Facilitate throughcare by working together with SPS colleagues as part of the Integrated Care Pathway and especially by developing contact with external faith-groups and organisations to the benefit of prisoners on release.  Signposting to throughcare organisations and follow-up after release.

Person Specification

SPS recruitment and selection practice is based on the fundamentals of our Behavioural Competency Framework. This identifies behaviours and standards required both of applicants seeking to join us, and our staff in their respective roles. Assessment of specific behaviours, of which there are twelve, will be determined by the role you are applying for. Whilst it is unlikely you will be assessed on all of them , you will be assessed on these identified as key to role.

Qualifications Requirements

Ordained Minister of the Church of Scotland and in good standing.


 To be eligible for this position, you must be in good standing with your denomination. If successful at interview, you will be asked to provide a letter of confirmation of your position and good standing from your leadership body (e.g. Diocese, Union or Head Office). This letter must be on headed paper from your leadership body and signed off by the appropriate person within that church.

Please note your application will not be progressed if these conditions are not met

Experience Requirements

Religious Practice Experience

Experience of leading worship and religious events in a community setting.


 Application Question: Please briefly describe your experience of leading worship and religious events in a community setting? 

Pastoral Care Experience

Significant experience of providing pastoral care to people from different backgrounds and in different situations.


 Application Question: Please briefly describe your experience of providing pastoral care to a range of people?


Spiritual Care Experience

Experience of providing care and support to people of all faiths and none, encouraging, role modelling, building self-esteem and opportunities to belong; accompanying   them on their journey to discover purpose in their lives.


Application Question: Please briefly describe your experience of providing spiritual care to people. Describing what you have done to support them on their journey? 

Knowledge Skills Requirements

Scottish Criminal Justice System Awareness

Awareness of the Scottish Criminal Justice System and the pastoral challenges within a prison setting. (Further reading and insight can be found through links detailed in job purpose.)


Communication Skills

Excellent written and oral communication skills, including leading prayer-groups, etc. with evidence of the ability to exercise effective listening abilities and adapt communication style to suit the needs of the audience.


Relationship Management Experience

Ability to build and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders and teams, demonstrating your ability to lead by example and positively influence others with integrity and impartiality.


Problem Solving and Decision Making

Excellent decision-making skills with evidence of your ability to exercise a high level of initiative, judgement and discretion in deciding appropriate actions to be undertaken.


Vacancy Information Booklets:

This opportunity is closed to applications.