Queen’s honour for WMP's Multi Faith Lead Chaplain
West Midlands Police’s Multi Faith Lead Chaplain has received royal recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Rev John Butcher has been awarded a British Empire Medal – given for outstanding military or civil service – in acknowledgement of his work expanding the force’s multi-faith chaplaincy and its contribution to modern-day policing.
In the last 10 years under John’s guidance the team has developed from just a handful of volunteer chaplains to more than 60 representing all six major faiths.
The chaplains – who collectively volunteer thousands of hours a year – perform an important pastoral role, supporting staff and officers at times of stress, concern or crisis.
But they also provide support around day to day business, help with neighbourhood police networking and provide faith diversity training for officers, including new recruits to the force.
Father-of-two John, from New Oscott, spent seven years as a West Midlands Police volunteer chaplain – following 10 years devoting time to the Met Police – before joining the force as the chaplaincy lead in 2009.
And the 63-year-old – who is Associate Minster at Hockley’s Life Community Church alongside his wife Angela – said he is “overjoyed and immensely proud” to receive the Medal.
He added: ““It came as a huge surprise. When the letter arrived I had to ask my wife ‘am I reading this correctly’ because I couldn’t believe what was written in the letter.
“I’m due to receive the medal at a civil ceremony in Birmingham in September but we have also been invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party next year when we are looking forward to meeting the Queen. It’s all very exciting!
“It sounds clichéd but I accept the award on behalf of all the fantastic chaplains and faith advisors who give up their time across the West Midlands to support police officers, staff and the wider community.”
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson, added: “John has been a brilliant Chaplain drawing in many faiths to provide guidance and pastoral support to our force. He has made our chaplaincy hugely supportive of the work of WMP.
“The medal is richly deserved and huge congratulations to him.”