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RMNews Issue 3 2019

Remembrance Service times, plus… Calendar & Christmas Cards info…

Support on life’s journey


RMNews Support on life’s journey

www.railwaymission.org

Railway Mission Rugby Railway Station Rugby • CV21 3LA

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From the Top

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The Railway Remembers

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Remembrance Services 2019

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RailHope International

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What Exactly Do You Do?

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Thanks for your faithfulness

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Chaplains’ News & Prayer

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Health & Safety Rep’s’ Conference Scotland Calendars & Christmas Cards

info@railwaymission.org

07718 971919

Front cover :The canopy of Brighton Station with Gatwick Express and Southern trains. Photo by Steve Rowe

Railway Mission is a registered charity in England and Wales (1128024) and in Scotland SC045897). A company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (06519565)

Railway Mission

Call our office for calendars, brochures, RM News & Gideon New Testaments Vector Snowflakes by Spoon Graphics.


Big gratitude

From the Top

When I wrote the foreword to the last magazine, I explained how Railway Mission is facing financial challenges.

relationship between the Mission and Network Rail has changed. We are delighted and grateful to the company for investing in the chaplaincy service in this way.

Since then we have been astounded by the generosity of YOU, our partners in Mission; and on behalf of everyone at the Railway Mission, I would like to express our sincere gratitude. We still have a major deficit in our finances, but we believe that in the next two years, the Mission will be in the black once again, nevertheless, we must not be complacent.

Moving forward, we know the call on our services will increase, and that the reliance on chaplains by the industry, to support those affected by incidents, will continue to put pressure on the team. Please continue to pray for your chaplaincy team, for their health and wellbeing. While we remain faithful to the call and leading of the Holy Spirit, pray for us as we adjust and adapt to the changing railway environment and give Him thanks for the open access to the industry.

To help ensure the future of Railway Mission, while remaining an independent charity, we are now officially registered as a supplier to Network Rail. This gives us an important assured funding stream for the next couple of years. Up until this point, Network Rail’s funding for the chaplaincy was voluntary; but with this change, the Support on life’s journey

Liam Johnston is the Executive Director of Railway Mission


WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 6 SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL

The Railway Remembers One hundred years after the end of World War One, the nation held commemorative services culminating on Remembrance Sunday at The Cenotaph in London. But the last great centenary act of remembrance is being held a year later at Southwark Cathedral on the November 6, 2019. This memorial will be held in honour of the railway workers who died for their country during World War One, and to commemorate the overall contribution of the rail industry to the “Great War.” So why is an industry, which is so often criticised for the late running of services, holding this one a year later? Railway Mission

Over 186,475 railway workers from Britain and Ireland fought in World War One, on land, sea and in the air, and more than 18,957 gave their lives. In 1919, in the presence of His Majesty King George V, over 7,000 railway people and families attended a service of remembrance in St Paul’s Cathedral, “In memory of the railwaymen of Great Britain and Ireland who died in the service of their country during the war 19141918.” Now, a century later, the railway industry of Britain and Ireland – led by the Railway Mission and railway industry partners, such as Network Rail, Rail Delivery Group and the Rail Industry Association, will come together again for a service at Southwark Cathedral, London, to remember those that fell.


The service is not just looking back at the past, but to the future… “In a fractured society, it is important to show the railway industry can be an instrument of love, peace and reconciliation,” said Rev’d Johnston, of the Railway Mission. “Railway is the only physical link between Great Britain, the rest of Europe and beyond. But this link goes back before the Channel Tunnel, to when the railway operated the ferry services.”

“The service is not just looking back at the past, but to the future and the part the railway will play in building links and partnerships beyond our shores; a future that was made possible by the sacrifice of those railway people who served and died in World War One.” Support on life’s journey

Unlike other events, where the wellknown personalities, the CEOs and celebrities take centre stage, at this service, it is the rail staff who will take the lead and the CEOs will be there as the stewards to serve the congregation. Due to the security concerns attendance at the event will be by ticket only. You can apply by visiting https://rwcms.co.uk.


Join us at these various venues around the country as we remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave themselves for our liberty and life. We must never forget those who gave so much. Day

Date

Time

Station

Location

Chaplain/Minister

Wednesday

6 Nov

15:00 pm

Nr London Bridge

Southwark Cathedral

Liam Johnston (Address)

Thursday

7 Nov

10:45 am

Preston

Mike Roberts

Thursday

7 Nov

10:45 am

Birmingham New Street

Andrew Hall

Friday

8 Nov

10:00 am

Dover

Dover Port War Memorial

Dylis George

Friday

8 Nov

10:45 am

Hoxton

War Memorial

Andrea Smyth

Friday

8 Nov

10:45 am

Crewe

Bombardier

Mike Roberts

Friday

8 Nov

14:00

Liverpool Lime Street

Sunday

10 Nov

10:45 am

Kidderminster

Sunday

10 Nov

10:45 am

Manchester Piccadilly

Mike Roberts

Sunday

10 Nov

14:00 pm

Blackpool North

Mike Roberts

Monday

11 Nov

10:30 am

Ayr

War Memorial

Rev John Carrick

Monday

11 Nov

10:40 am

Glasgow Central

War Memorial

Graham Whitehead

Monday

11 Nov

10:40 am

Edinburgh Waverley

War Memorial

Andy Gregg

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Birmingham Moor Street

Ralph Coleman

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

St Pancras International

Dylis George

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Milton Keynes

Railway Mission

Mike Roberts SVR Kidderminster

Quadrant:MK Network Rail HQ

Andrew Hall

Liam Johnston


Remembrance Services 2019 Day

Date

Time

Station

Location

Chaplain/Minister

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Kings Cross

Concourse

Rev Ray Porter

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Marylebone

Concourse

Andrea Smyth

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Paddington

War Memorial

John Roe

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Reading

Upper Concourse, North Transept

Steve Cosslett

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Liverpool James Street

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

York

War Memorial

Angela Levitt-Harwood

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Derby

War Memorial Platform 1

Colin Fraser

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Euston

War Memorial

Stephen Rowe

Monday

11 Nov

10:45 am

Manchester Victoria

Monday

11 Nov

10:50 am

Waterloo

Monday

11 Nov

10:50 am

Liverpool Street

Michele Ashton

Monday

11 Nov

10:55 am

Bristol Temple Meads

Alan Thorpe

Monday

11 Nov

14:00 pm

Leamington Spa

Ralph Coleman

Monday

11 Nov

14:00 pm

Lancaster

Mike Roberts

Tuesday

12 Nov

10:45 am

Crewe

Mike Roberts

Wednesday

13 Nov

10:45 am

Manchester Longsight

Mike Roberts

Support on life’s journey

Andrew Hall

Mike Roberts War Memorial

Christopher Henley


RailHope International This year the International Railway Mission (IRM) held its triennial conference at the De Werelt Congress Centre in Lunteren, Netherlands. Since the foundation of the IRM in 1926, international conferences for railway workers have taken place every three years. During these conference weeks, there have been both Board and General Assembly meetings. But they have also served as a place of personal encouragement, a place to exchange ideas and experiences regarding the work of IRM among railway workers, as well as building an international Christian community of brothers and sisters from across the railway networks.

Railway Mission

93 years after the IRM was founded the General Assembly agreed to change the name of the organisation to RailHope International. The vision of "RailHope International" is to connect Christians in railways and public transport worldwide. We want to encourage new Christian fellowships to start through the formation of local Christian groups. Our aim is to inspire Christians to live out their relationship with God openly, through their work on the railways and in public transport, in a way that inspires others to become followers of Jesus. Attending the conference from the UK Railway Mission were Stephen Rowe, Ian Markey, Hannah Tuck, Michele Ashton and Liam Johnston.


What exactly do you do? Whether it’s a company induction session or a church talk about the work of Railway Mission this is often a question that comes up. It’s also a question that I’ve yet to work out how to answer succinctly. At the start of August 2018, a group of “new” Railway Chaplains started work, spread from the North West to the South East. A year on we gathered again to share and talk about a year of chaplaincy. We’d all had different experiences and our personalities and gifts shaped us into very different chaplains, but we all shared a sense of gratitude at the privilege and opportunities that we had seen over the year. For me, supporting staff through some of the toughest experiences of their life often after a railway fatality is a privilege. I’ve worked with Train Operatorion Companies through challenges, stood working side by side with staff on “ordinary” occasions and been with people as they’ve remembered some very dark days. Quite often people ask, “How do you know what to say?” and the answer often seems to be it’s not about what you say but who you are and how you listen. It’s about the questions you ask, not the

Support on life’s journey

Andrew Hall asked the Chaplain for the North West Mike Roberts the big question often asked of chaplains, “What exactly do you do?”

answers you give. Life in this role is about showing people that you care and offering them a presence in times when they might feel more alone than ever. I’ve stood taking services at railway memorials, attended the launch of new trains, been on stations as music festival goers arrive, slept on station concourses for charity and learned how signal boxes work. But the highlights of a year as a Railway Chaplain are the innumerable conversations that happen over a coffee as people talk - nothing seems off limits and relationships are built. Chaplaincy is an immense privilege and I, along with my colleagues, are grateful for your support in enabling this crucial and urgent ministry to continue.


In September we held an informal farewell to Ian Markey and Tim Young, who both stepped down from Railway Mission’s Board of Trustees earlier this year. Ian (above right) has been a faithful supporter of the chaplaincy since first meeting Alan Thorpe the chaplain for the Bristol area in the mid-1980s where he and Ian would occasionally meet at the Railway Mission prayer group led by Bob Fear. At that time Ian was a senior manager with British Rail; but was Railway Mission

also heavily involved with his local church, Saltford Evangelical, as Church Secretary. He was also the Chair of the local Gideons Branch, and a member of the British Transport Christian Fellowship (BTCF), later joining the board of Railway Mission before becoming the Mission’s Chair of Trustees, a post he held for over ten years. In 2002 Ian led the Railway Mission to approach the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) for financial support, over the preceding years the Mission had been financed by selling the properties it owned.


ATOC agreed that the train operators should voluntarily support ‘their chaplains.’ This was followed in 2004 with a similar approach to Network Rail. Because of Ian’s faithfulness, God opened the doors of both ATOC and Network Rail and blessed Railway Mission. Tim Young (above left) joined the Railway Mission as a representative of BTCF. Although BTCF ceased to operate as an organisation, Tim remained on the board of trustees of Railway Mission and for a time was the Company Secretary. An active member of the Liberal party, Tim has Support on life’s journey

been both a town councillor and the Lord Mayor of the town of Penwortham in Lancashire. We pray the Lord blesses both of them as they continue to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Ian and Tim are pictured with Railway Mission Chairman Keith Rose


Chaplains’ news & prayer

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News, prayer requests and information from Railway Mission chaplains in the field

Christopher Henley South West London & Wessex Area

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here have been many challenges recently, but also tremendous opportunities. Driver Managers in particular have seen great value in the work of the chaplaincy with support for their driver’s. More and more l am being given opportunities to speak directly to drivers to support them through trauma. We’ve been endeavouring to put an Alpha Course together at Network Rail, Waterloo, for employees. This course commenced two weeks ago, and l’m delighted to say it has been received well. The hard work, particularly by those working in the area of Interfaith, has paid off. The early signs show significant numbers attending from different faith groups, as well as those who want to both explore as well as deepen their faith.

Mike Roberts Manchester & the North Area

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ime pressures on chaplains are very significant with a balance to be found between proactive visiting and incident responses to injuries and fatalities.

Railway Mission

Ensuring visits are done and incidents are appropriately covered is a big challenge. Pray that I am able to balance the demands of a large geographical region, working with multiple train companies, Network Rail and BTP. Give thanks for “people of peace” at each train operator who make the job possible by opening doors and opportunities. Ask God to show us how to seize those moments to see His kingdom grow. It would be easy to fill my working hours several times over every week (which seems true for all chaplains) so pray for wisdom and discernment.

Dereck Grant Aberdeen

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t is a privilege to be supporting all kinds of people on the rail network. It was so encouraging to receive a letter that was left at Inverness Station thanking me and other chaplains for taking the time to listen to someone’s relative who needed support at a difficult time. It seems that we, as Railway Mission chaplains, are making a difference. I could see that in September, during the Suicide Prevention Day at Aberdeen Station and on the trains, as people were touched by our involvement. Sadly, suicide cannot always be prevented, but that does not stop me


Chaplains’ news & prayer praying over stations and doing all I can to prevent suicide in the North of Scotland.

David Hardy Gloucester

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o one can make sense of a tragic waste of life, but as a chaplain, recently I have tried in my own way to support a family through their loss. Sadly, suicides are not an uncommon part of railway life. The effects on families and friends are unimaginably sad. As chaplains, we try to offer support to the British Transport Police and all the railway people involved. The effect on them can be devastating too. I’ve met drivers, who, after being involved in fatalities, never return to driving. Retired drivers tell me about nightmares they have concerning incidents they were involved in decades ago. There are no easy answers. We can only thank God that He has conquered sin and death in Jesus and offer our support and love to those who have to bear the loss.

Andrea Smyth London North & Chiltern

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ver the last month I’ve provided support to family and friends of two victims of fatal stabbing. Both incidents were at tube stations and were extensively covered in the press. Please pray for all those involved Support on life’s journey

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and also station staff and BTP officers who are subject to violent attacks themselves, as they seek to support others. In addition, staff based in offices are not immune to abuse, and also have their own struggles. A number whom I am supporting at the moment are finding some of their relationships with colleagues difficult. There can be feelings of jealousy and insecurity. Pray that the Lord looks down on them with mercy and love and heals their broken hearts.

John Roe London North West & the South West

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hey say that change is here to stay. That is certainly the case with the railways, and the necessary response we offer as chaplains as we serve and support the workforce. The much publicised GWR timetable changes on 15 December - the biggest since 1976 - is exercising minds and plans across the industry, along with raised anxiety levels amongst some staff. I have also experienced changes serving, in addition now, sections of MTR Crossrail and the London Underground. Please pray for resilience and wisdom for chaplains to respond and continue to be available to all who need support.

For more info, check www.railwaymission.org


Chaplains’ news & prayer Hannah Tuck Cardiff Central • Chester

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here are so many opportunities across Wales for chaplaincy it can be hard to work out what to do. The biggest event of the last few months was the tragic death of two track workers near Port Talbot in July. We have been able to offer support to a large number of staff following this. Please do pray for the families, friends and colleagues of those involved. Relationships with BTP, Network Rail and Transport for Wales are really encouraging and there are lots of good opportunities to meet staff. Please also pray for the Monday Bible Study that is held in Cardiff and that it would be an encouragement and a challenge for Christian staff to grow in and share their faith.

Alan Thorpe Bristol Temple Meads

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t has been good over the years to see Rail staff develop and progress in their careers. Some have started their careers in comparatively lowly posts and have now progressed into more senior roles, including Director level. I 'bumped' into one such Director recently. His career had taken him around the Rail network with various Rail Companies but he has never forgotten Chaplaincy help in an issue 35 years ago. Railway Mission

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In fact, it was one of the first things he reminisced about. Our witnessing is ongoing and there are long term results, even if we don't always see them. The one who does the sowing might not necessarily do the reaping, but we are encouraged to be faithful.

Angela Levitt-Harwood York • Kings Cross

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ver the last few months I have increased my visits to Network Rail in line with new requirements as we continue to supply a chaplaincy service. This has led to increased opportunities for support and the privilege of being present for people at both the happiest and saddest times of their lives. There has been an increase in one to one meetings and home visits as well as being asked to see colleagues, family members and attend the funerals of three staff members who have very sadly passed away whilst working for the company. In all of this I have been amazed at the times people have shared with me that recently God has featured in their life in some way even though they don't actually process a faith and I thank the Lord that someone has planted the seed, I am helping to water it, but God is making it grow.

Be a friend. Just ask.


Chaplains’ news & prayer Ralph Coleman Birmingham Snow Hill

Christian colleagues across the network. As chaplains we have the privilege not only to visit them (and deliver a pin badge!), but also to encourage them in their place of work. (Hebrews 10: 23-25).

I

know I shouldn't be, but I am constantly amazed as to how God changes your day around to bring you into contact with those people that He wants you to interact with. As the chaplains listen to the prompting of Holy Spirit we are regularly in situations where we can not only support staff through their life issues but share something of God with them. So many people are searching for something meaningful in their lives without knowing what it is until we have the opportunities to share Jesus with them. Please pray for those regular contacts, for wisdom to share the right words, and for us to be always open to God's leading.

Steve Cosslett South West Area

Steve Rowe Area Manager for London & the South

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fter supporting rail staff and police through several incidents attended in a short time, it is apparent how many people are affected in some way by these tragedies, from first responders to station staff, signallers, drivers, passengers, and many more. Please pray for those who work in this area. On the brighter side, we can give thanks for a recent trip to Lunteren in Holland for the RailHope International Conference, which was a great opportunity to meet with rail missionaries from around the globe and look at the different ways in which rail chaplains can provide care.

Andrew Hall

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ne of the joys I’ve had in recent weeks is acting as deliveryman. And no, it’s not calendar season yet! John Roe and I have been working with (but mostly encouraging), a Christian GWR employee who would like for Christians to be better represented on the diversity agenda. With the help and backing of a director he was able to launch the Christian Rail Association, which we hope will branch out beyond GWR eventually. Our job has been to deliver the pin badges to Support on life’s journey

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Area Manager North West Midlands Area

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ollowing a number of staff changes over the last few months, all of us are under pressure in terms of the sheer size of our areas and the apparent increase in the number of people we work with each day. My prayer request, this time, is that you would all lift up in prayer the men and


Chaplains’ news & prayer women of God from the Railway Mission: that our Lord would sustain them, comfort them and empower them in all that they do. Psalm 23 talks about the Lord spreading a feast in the face of the enemy. (A friend of mine, while facing tough times, felt the Lord ask him if he wanted the Melon or the Soup….) Pray that we might all partake in the nourishment and refreshment He provides.

Helen Bartlett Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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hings have been very busy with all the media attention for the new Azuma trains, then being invited aboard the Mallard. And Durham was highly commended at the Rail Awards! I was invited along on the first public run down from Edinburgh of the Azuma... I then came back and sat with a youngster who’d just run across the track and waited for the BTP. I’ve visited various Directors in different TOCS and supported some difficult fatalities, including an unexpected death and a mum who lost her son to suicide. She gave me a little heart. Life is pretty frenetic! Please God give me space not to miss anyone out and to give me space to do that well.

Find chaplains at www.railwaymission.org Railway Mission

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Colin Fraser Derby • Leicester • St Pancras International

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n very different situations over the past few months I have been asked about why I have faith and does it make a difference. By sharing parts of my testimony, it has broken down barriers of what people "think" Christians are like. Please pray for natural opportunities for all the chaplains, to be able to share how our faith makes a difference to our daily lives. Pray that by sharing our testimonies this would break down peoples sometimes skewed view of Christians.

Graham Whitehead Glasgow • Edinburgh

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s new trains enter service in Scotland, staff throughout ScotRail can see resolutions to some issues they faced, and prayers of thanksgiving are being said, even by those who profess no faith in any God. Staff are also considering the change of the West Coast franchise, what that will bring to their working lives, and about the potential impact of the review of HS2. Wherever I go in Scotland, I see the pride in Scotland’s Railways shown by the staff who work on them, by their desire to have everything go well. I ask your prayers for these dedicated women and men, in thanksgiving for and in support of their continuing efforts to run the railway.


Chaplains’ news & prayer Dylis George Southeastern Area

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s the opportunities for pastoral care occur I grab them with great pleasure. It’s a privilege to journey with people through painful and challenging times. My role as a chaplain has evolved in the last five months from just supporting individual staff members for a short period to supporting staff members and their families for longer, being there for them in every aspect of their journey. This shift has broadened my horizon and has helped me to reassess my outlook on life. Standing alongside staff members following death in service is also a recent experience. I am particularly grateful for these open doors in ministry. I sincerely welcome prayer support for strength and wisdom as the Lord continues to open effective doors.

Michele Ashton London North & Anglia Area

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here are changes in my area with several directors and staff facing new job roles as the industry branches out in all directions with new trains in Greater Anglia and Crossrail to accommodate the increase in passengers. The Elizabeth Line through London to link Heathrow, Abbey Wood and Shenfield and the East West rail link from Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge to join Support on life’s journey

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Oxford, all demand an increase in recruitment and training with bigger challenges. My area has been extended to include part of the underground where I’ve been warmly welcomed, and chaplaincy is appreciated. As these changes take place pray for safety, good rapport with chaplains and increased funding for Railway Mission to continue this vital role in a rapidly changing industry.

John Robinson Southern, Sussex Area

Liam Johnston writes…

Mission Possible

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ohn Robinson has made a welcome return to the railway chaplaincy. John stepped down as chaplain to help with the care of his first grandchild earlier this year. His return is welcomed by everyone in Railway Mission as he is such an encouragement to all of us. John’s new role will be as chaplain to the Southern Rail Network; an area that has been in the press so often over the last couple of years due to industrial action and poor performance. We pray for John and his ministry in this area, that through his work and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, God will build strong, effective and lasting relationships with railway staff and management.


It’s that time of year again!

Health & Safety Reps’ Conference in Scotland

Calendars & Christmas Cards

Graham Whitehead, chaplain for Glasgow and Edinburgh, writes… It was my privilege, along with Trustee Jim MacPhie, to attend the first Network Rail Scotland Conference for Health and Safety Reps recently. This was arranged by the Head of Maintenance for Network Rail and the Lead RMT Health & Safety Rep in Scotland. Not only was it helpful to have an insight into the concerns of this group of hard to reach staff, but also wonderful to see the close alignment of objectives and cooperative attitudes of staff, Union and Management. I spoke about the role of the chaplain, and encouraged the Health & Safety Reps and HR staff to consider us as part of their armoury of tools for supporting the staff on the ground and gave bundles of my business cards to them all for use at their depots.

You can order your copy of the Railway Mission 2020 wall or desktop calendar online*. Christmas cards are also available for order. Simply go to… www.railwaymission.org/ merchandise *Allow for £6.50 postage on orders. Our chaplains deliver thousands of calendars free of charge to rail staff in their areas. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Railway Mission


Six ways to help us support rail staff… Cheque or Postal Order

A one-off or regular donation by cheque or postal order sent to: Railway Mission, Rugby Railway Station, Rugby, CV21 3LA.

Standing Order

A one-off or regular donation through your bank. Email our Administrator for more information… office@railwaymission.org

Web Donation

A one off or regular donation through our website. Visit www.railwaymission.org, and click on the Donate page, where you will find easy to follow directions.

Wills & Legacy

To include us in your will, our charity name is Railway Mission, our charity number in England & Wales is 1128024, and in Scotland is SCO45897.

Gift Aid as an extra

UK taxpayers can claim an extra 25% on donations via HMRC, as long as you meet their conditions and complete, sign and return a Gift Aid form to us.

Payroll Giving*

Because every donation is taken from your gross pay, every pound you give will only cost you 80p, or only 60p if you are a higher rate tax-payer.

*For more information on Payroll Giving, go to:

www.railwaymission.org/donate

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They were there when I needed someone to talk to

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Profile for Railway Mission

Railway Mission News Issue 19.3  

News and information from UK Railway Chaplains in the field.

Railway Mission News Issue 19.3  

News and information from UK Railway Chaplains in the field.

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