h/t to my friend Pete Garnham for passing this story on. MP+

15 October 2011
By John McManus
BBC News

Secular campaigners have criticised the Armed Forces for funding military chaplains, and want churches to fund them instead.

The MoD revealed, after a Freedom of Information request, that it costs taxpayers £22m a year to support about 280 Christian padres.

The National Secular Society says that at a time of defence budget cuts the cost should be met by churches.

The Church of England said it was not considering such a change.

The chaplains work across all three services, and are drawn from the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Methodist Church among others.

There are also five civilian chaplains, who minister to Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist recruits.

Read the whole story here.