UK Offshore O&G Names Chaplain

The Reverend Martin Grashoff has been appointed as chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

He takes up the position on March 1, 2011, moving to Aberdeen with his family from West Kintyre where he is currently minister for the Church of Scotland in the parish of Kilcalmonell, linked with Killean and Kilchenzie.

Mr. Grashoff said he was delighted to be appointed chaplain to one of the UK's largest and most important industrial sectors and very much looks forward to his first trips offshore to meet the people who bring Britain's oil and gas ashore.

He said, "Going out and meeting with people where they work is very much what I like. Instead of waiting for people to come to church I will have to adapt to their and their families' situation. It is an ecumenical encounter and for me also part of a journey I started many years ago while working in hospital."

Mr. Grashoff was ordained as a minister in the Netherlands in 1995. A fully qualified teacher and nurse, he subsequently studied divinity at the Theological University of the Reformed Churches in Kampen and at the University of Amsterdam. He moved to Scotland in 2004, spending three years working on the staff at the Iona Community on Scotland's west coast before serving as a minister in parishes in Glasgow and West Kintyre.

Brian Wilkie, chairman of the Aberdeen Oil Industry Chaplaincy Trust, said, "The chaplain's role is to provide spiritual and pastoral care for all who work in this complex, geographically diverse and dynamic industry of ours. It is a uniquely challenging but immensely rewarding job and I am delighted to welcome Martin on board."

Mr. Grashoff follows the late Rev. Andrew J Jolly MBE, who died in September, and is the UK oil and gas industry's fourth chaplain since the role was officially established following the Piper Alpha offshore disaster in 1988.