A Unique Service for our Scottish Veterans is only a phone call away!

Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland (VCS) is a unique service providing pastoral care for military veterans and their families in Scotland.  Twelve new chaplains have been appointed this month, extending the service across Scotland.

All our new chaplains have military experience, giving them the unique ability to ‘speak the language’ of the veterans’ community while understanding the stresses of everyday life outside the services.

While serving, our service men and women have access to professional chaplaincy support at home and abroad.   VCS seeks to continue that support after service, aiding our veterans in their transition to civilian life.

Philip Patterson from Perthshire and a member at Tayside Christian Fellowship, developed the vision for Veterans’ Chaplaincy Scotland and entered a partnership with a charity in Scotland to deliver a network of chaplains to the veterans’ community in Scotland.

Philip is a recently retired Army Chaplain.  He was born in Belfast in 1970 and grew up in Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’.  He was then ordained into the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI).  He joined the RAChD (Royal Army Chaplains Department) in 1999 and has served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Iraq.

Leaving the army for parish ministry in 2007, he took charge of two churches in Perthshire as a minister of the Church of Scotland.  Philip subsequently served as an Army Reserve Chaplain with 7SCOTS, and he then re-joined as a Regular (full time) Chaplain serving two postings with Engineer Regiments until he retired in July 2020. Philip completed a master’s degree in military chaplaincy where he focused on combat trauma and forgiveness. 

“Every 11th November, we remember those who have died in conflicts around the world” he explains.  “At VCS we believe that it is as vital not to forget those who have lived and experienced service, and to continue to support veterans and their families throughout their lives.

“Some veterans struggle to make the transition to civilian life, others want to remember with fondness their days of service, a few are profoundly affected emotionally mentally and physically by things they have experienced, but all are valuable members of Scottish society. At Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland we seek to care for those who have served whatever their circumstances. “

VCS provides a valuable link between Scotland’s half million veterans community, our churches, and our communities, enabling veterans to engage with the support they need, and bring their own gifts and experiences to life. Our support is only a phone call or text away on 07521 638848.

Philip explains, “all our chaplains are trained in pastoral care, bereavement support, spiritual leadership, post trauma healing, trauma risk management, suicide intervention, mental health awareness and moral injury support”. He continues, “our service is informal, confidential, and professional.   We offer that space to consider the moral and spiritual aspects of life, its meaning and purpose.  We provide that support to those of all faiths and none. We are there in good times and bad walking the road with our veterans.”

Built on Strong Foundations

The concept of veterans’ chaplaincy was started by a group of ex-forces chaplains who knew first-hand the needs that were not being addressed for service men and women returning to civilian life.

VCS is supported by the Veterans Foundation, the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

VCS is an initiative of Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland (WPCS) which has been providing a chaplaincy service to the work places of Scotland for over 10 years.

Our chaplains provide their services in partnership with Poppy Scotland, Age Scotland, Street Pastors Scotland, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, Veterans Scotland, Veterans First Point, Combat Stress and PTSD Resolution. Our community-based contacts throughout Scotland grant us access to veterans and the support networks for veterans.  Our ‘Friends of Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland’ group (FOVCS) is growing each day and they have a key role in promoting our work financially, professionally, and prayerfully. 

07521 638848

a unique service for Scottish Veterans is only a phone call away!