Royal Navy Pay and Conditions - 1860

Exemption of Roman Catholics from Attendance at Divine Service on Board HM Ships

Admiralty, 7th January 1859

Circular No 355

With reference to Art 1, Sec 2, Chap V, page 89 of the Admiralty Instructions, which provides for the performance of Divine Service on board Her Majesty's ships, my Lords are pleased to direct that Roman Catholics, who may entertain religious scruples in joining in the services of the Church of England, shall have full liberty to absent themselves from such services; as, however, it is indispensable that there should be perfect order and silence throughout the ship during the celebration of Divine Service, all Roman Catholics, who have scruples with regard to attending, are to remain in their berths, or such other place as the Commanding Officer may appoint.

Commanding Officers are to take the utmost care to prevent any unseemly interruption to Divine Service, and they are to make such arrangements in any place which might give them the appearance of forming, by compulsion, a part of the congregation.

Every respect which may be consistent with discipline, the usages of the service, and the reverent performance of Divine Service according to the Liturgy of the Church of England, is to be shown to the religious scruples of the Roman Catholics.

By Command of their Lordships


To all Captains &c

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