The Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) Ray J Pentland CB QHC BA DPS MTh RAF
The Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) Ray J Pentland was born in Greenock in 1957 and educated at Cowdenkowes High School, Langside College Glasgow, St John’s College Nottingham and Oxford University.
Padre Pentland entered the Salvation Army Officer Training College, in 1977. After graduation in 1979 he served in number of inner city locations throughout the United Kingdom before entering St John’s College, Nottingham in 1986 to train for ordination in the Church of England.
Ordained in 1988, in Southwell Minster, Padre Pentland served his curacy at St Jude’s Mapperley Park, Nottingham. During this period, he was wined and dined by the RAF Chaplains’ Branch, and was eventually persuaded to join the RAF in 1990, just in time for the first Gulf War.
On completion of the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant Course, Padre Pentland joined the Chaplaincy team at RAFC Cranwell as the junior Anglican Chaplain. During this period he was detached to RAF Swinderby, RAF Newton, and eventually the Gulf Region.
This was followed by tours at RAF Valley, British Forces Broadcasting (Germany) (which included living with the Army and providing Chaplaincy to an Army Garrison including serving with them on an operational tour in Bosnia), RAF Cosford (including a deployment to the Gulf), Senior Chaplain RAF Brize Norton, Chaplaincy Services Training and Development Officer, and as Senior RAF Chaplain at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre.
During the course of these appointments Padre Pentland has travelled to a number of interesting and exciting places on exercises and operations including, Canada, Norway, Cyprus, Solvenia, the Falklands, Bosnia and Croatia, and of course the Gulf Region.
Padre Pentland was promoted to Rev(Wg Cdr) in 2002 while working in Training and Development, during which time he was responsible for the rewriting and design of the new Belief and Values Programme, and developing a coherent Chaplaincy In Service Training Programme.
Padre Pentland has undertaken research in the area of military ethics (Oxford) and Values Education (Birmingham and Oxford), and continues to write and lecture widely on these subjects.
Promoted to Rev(Group Capt) in Aug 2005, Padre Pentland was subsequently selected and appointed as Principal Anglican Chaplain, and Archdeacon for the RAF, and as a Honorary Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, taking office on 27 March 2006. This appointment was in addition to his role as Director Chaplaincy Personnel. On 1 Apr 2009 Padre Pentland was selected as the 21st Chaplain in Chief of the Royal Air Force and took up the appointment on 1 Oct 2009.
Padre Pentland is married to Christine, a Consultant in Child Bereavement and a member of The Mental Health Review Tribunal Service. They have 2 children, a daughter Elizabeth, full time mum to Isabelle, Ethan and Evangeline, and a son Jackson who is an actor.
Ray enjoys good food, good wine, good music (unusual for a trombone player!) the theatre and military history particularly focusing on the Great War.