As the first woman to be appointed as senior chaplain in the NSW police force, Rev Sarah Plummer is excited about the opportunities to care for the people serving on the frontlines of violence and crime.
“I’m responsible for caring for and nurturing the members of the specialist commands,” says Sarah. These commands include the counter-terrorism unit, marine unit and PolAir (Police Force Airwing).
“It’s a real privilege to know these men and women, and my admiration for the police force goes up and up every day.”
At her commissioning service on Tuesday, 20 September, at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, Plummer was presented with a Police Bible, oil, water, and a high-visibility police chaplaincy vest.
Sarah’s appointment is thanks to a partnership between the NSW police force and Anglicare Sydney. Andrew Ford, general manager of mission and partnerships at Anglicare Sydney, told Eternity, “Anglicare is delighted to be able to partner with the NSW police force in the provision of chaplaincy.”
“Sarah and the other chaplains have a remarkable opportunity to journey alongside those who serve and protect us, sharing with them the love of Jesus; showing and speaking good news of hope in the face of brokenness.” – Rev Dr Andrew Ford, Anglicare
“Our police experience the worst – and, occasionally, the best – of humanity. Sarah and the other chaplains have a remarkable opportunity to journey alongside those who serve and protect us, sharing with them the love of Jesus; showing and speaking good news of hope in the face of brokenness.”
Sarah’s task is to draw alongside the members of the specialist commands, bringing healing with her words, while looking to Jesus as the source of all healing and compassion.
“When you encounter [the hard things] every day in your work life, you learn to become a hyper-vigilant person, and you learn to always be aware of your surroundings. I think that constancy of hyper vigilance does get wearing on a person’s life and heart,” says Sarah.
At the commissioning, Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn remarked, “Chaplaincy is a highly valued profession within the NSW Police force … Police chaplains seek to provide the highest quality of pastoral care in an organisational context.”
Sarah says, “Police need to constantly find strength and courage in the face of all that they see every day, and the courage to be a role model.”
“I’m excited about the wonderful opportunities to care for the people who need it most.”