Royal Navy Chaplain, Father Charles Bruzon, who comes from Gibraltar, has deployed to the Arabian Gulf on board HMS Iron Duke. Father Charles, who completed his Royal Navy Chaplaincy training last December, serves as Chaplain to Her Majesty’s Ships IRON DUKE, LIVERPOOL, EDINBURGH and DARING, spending a few weeks at a time in each. Recently he began his first operational deployment, serving with HMS IRON DUKE in the Arabian Gulf. Whilst on board Father Charles has the responsibility of providing pastoral and spiritual support to the Ship’s Company. Every Sunday he conducts an interdenominational church service which can take place in different locations, depending on the weather, such as the Junior Rates’ Dining Hall or on one of the Bridge Wings. These are well received as they afford sailors the opportunity to step aside from their busy roles in order to reflect on matters such as families and their relationship with God. The Eucharist is also celebrated on a regular basis. Naval Chaplains are ‘the friend and advisor of all on board’ and therein perhaps lies Father Charles’ most important role as he seeks to help members of the Ship’s Company who wish to discuss personal or work related issues in absolute confidentiality. During this deployment Father Charles has also provided pastoral support on board American destroyer, the USS Paul Hamilton. In his free time Father Charles likes to help out in the various departments on board, such as peeling potatoes in the Galley and doing the washing up in the scullery. As his Lenten Penance he is also participating in upper deck daily circuits organised by the ship’s Physical Training Instructor! To date Father Charles has also ventured ashore in Kuwait and Qatar to enjoy short but necessary periods of rest and recuperation with fellow members of the Ship’s Company. IRON DUKE has had a varied deployment, operating mostly inside the Arabian Gulf since assuming responsibility as the UK’s Frigate in the region in early February. The ship is providing maritime security to the Iraqi Al Basra Oil Terminal and supporting the Coalition’s efforts in training Iraqi maritime forces to take charge of this vital operation independently later this year. Additionally IRON DUKE is conducting maritime security patrols throughout the Gulf, providing reassurance to the thousands of mariners in the region whose living depends on these waters and ensuring the safety of shipping lanes, which are essential to the security of trade and energy routes. Father Charles will depart HMS IRON DUKE soon to rejoin HMS LIVERPOOL as she deploys, before returning to IRON DUKE a little later in her deployment.


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