Fred had been a curate in civilian life

Fred had been a curate in civilian life, so when he joined the submarine service it was decided he should be a chaplain. However, his boat was ordered to leave port the day before he was due to take Holy Orders.

In the wardroom that night, Fred was despondent. “Will the men respect me as chaplain if I’m still only a curate and can’t give communion?“

“Tell you what”, said the skipper, “Captains are traditionally allowed to conduct some services, such as weddings. The service the Bishop would have read is in the prayer book, so why don’t I

perform it this Sunday? It won’t be official but the crew won’t know“.

So they did the service and Fred fulfilled his role very well.

Two months later, when they returned from patrol, the first people aboard when they docked at the submarine base were a couple of Military Policemen.

“Commander Short, you and your chaplain are under arrest pending court martial!”

“On what charges?” asked the skipper. “Insubordination”

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