Kapooka Soldiers Chapel
The Chapel was officially opened on 31st October 1993 by LTGEN J.C Grey AO, Chief of the General Staff. Importantly, the Chapel was built by Army engineers; mainly 21 Construction Squadron.
The right wing of the dove is the Catholic section of the Chapel, the left wing is the Anglican section and the body and the tail are home to the Protestant denominations. The neck and head of the dove face the eastern valley overlooking recruit training. All three Chapel sections conduct concurrent services at 9am and 1015am each Sunday morning. However, for special occasions, it is possible to open up the dividing doors, turn all the chairs around to face the entrance, and conduct a combined service seating up to 900 people.
The glass doors of the Chapel have been embossed with the insignia of various Corps of the Army. In front of the Soldiers Chapel is the Memorial wall. This wall is designed to carry bronze plaques for units, corps and associations of the Army in memory of soldiers who have served in the Armed Forces and especially those who have paid the supreme sacrifice. At the entrance of the Chapel you will see an upturned rifle with bayonet and helmet used in World War 1. This symbolises a soldier who has fallen in battle, either wounded or dead, and needs help. It has been embedded into a piece of rock that was brought back from Anzac Cove after the 75th anniversary of the events in Gallipoli.
The Soldiers Chapel belongs to all soldiers – both past and present and for this reason it has been located at the ‘Home of the Soldier’.
Ministry at ‘The Army Recruit Training Centre’
Military training at Kapooka is demanding not just physically and intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually. The Chaplaincy team at Kapooka are charged with the task of caring for the emotional and spiritual well being of the recruits during their 80 day period of training. As well as Pastoral Care, the Chaplaincy team of four full time Chaplains, provide Character Development sessions which every recruit attends. These comprise two full day sessions during the course of their training in which we encourage the recruits to begin to reflect on their values and their beliefs. In group work and scenarios, we discuss how these values need to become for the recruits qualities that will be revealed in their behaviour and ethics as individuals, in their relationships and in community.
Every recruit has the opportunity to attend the chapel services held at the Soldiers Chapel complex every Sunday morning. The chapel complex comprises of Anglican, Catholic and Protestant wings and services are conducted in each of the wings concurrently and up to 300 recruits and their families can be found in each of the wings on Sunday mornings. The Chaplains strive to lead services of worship that are uplifting, contemporary and engaging. Through the sacraments and the Word the recruits are challenged, comforted and inspired.
Military service calls upon the recruits to consider the high ideals of sacrifice, respect, courage, teamwork, initiative, mateship and honour. It is the task of Chaplaincy to care for the recruits during their time with us and hopefully to help provide the grounding, through Army’s values, for their careers and their lives beyond the military.