Essential reading for everyone linked to The Salvation Army // www.salvationarmy.org.uk/salvationist
21 December 2013 // No. 1429 // Price 60p // Also available digitally
DEITY Y IN DISGUISE They were sensitive souls, They were clever and wise, And they wanted to see With their wizened old eyes W If the omens were true, W Earth sent a surprise? Was Was the Bethlehem child W Really God in disguise? Where the light shed its beam Under starÄĽstudded skies U They found mother and child, Heard the infantâ€™s faint cries; When they knelt with their gifts One can only surmise How the humble folk gasped As the scene met their eyes. Purest gold, spices rare Royal homage implies, But a shed for a king! Why this crib improvise? Was it really a sign W That our world would despise This one hope for us all: God himself in disguise? Stephen Pearson
FROM THE EDITOR
4. PAPERS This week’s quotes from the papers and From the archives
May the Light of the World shine into your hearts this Christmas
5. 6. & 7.
THE GENERAL’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
8. – 10. NEWS Boscombe // Winton // Whitehaven // Jordan // Durham and Sunderland Millfield // Redhill // London // London Central // 8. & 9. NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE READING CHALLENGE
11. REFLECTION He spent himself for others 12. – 14. FEATURES Christmas in Kandahar Christmas in Brize Norton 15. REVIEWS Boundless: Living Life In Overflow Youth Work From Scratch 16. Good news! 17.
18. & 19.
21. – 23.
FRONT COVER The poem, ‘Deity in disguise’, is by Stephen Pearson; cover design by Archie Bagnall SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS Scripture quotations in Salvationist are from the New International Version (2011), unless otherwise stated 2
Salvationist 21 December 2013
FROM THE EDITOR
• HOME FOR
WILL you be home for Christmas this year, or will you be somewhere else? Christmas is often considered to be a family time, but some families for various reasons will be apart, including those within the Armed Forces. Captain Chris Carré – or Padre the Rev Chris Carré – will be spending Christmas ministering to service personnel in Afghanistan many miles away from his wife Paula and sons Ethan and Matthew. When I interviewed Chris in 2012, shortly after he had taken up his appointment as a military chaplain, he knew that sometime this would happen and in September this year he was deployed to Kandahar. On pages 12 to 14 Chris shares his experience at this time. Back home at Brize Norton, Paula speaks about her life as a military wife, mother and Salvation Army officer (also on pages 12 to 14). Christmas can be a time for sharing memories. On page 11 Lieut-Colonel Ray Steadman-Allen OF recalls his memories – which span 30 years – of Major Leslie Condon who was promoted to Glory on Christmas Eve 30 years ago. I remember when Les was the special guest at a divisional event in Yorkshire. As I made my way up a flight of stairs with a toddler in one arm and a baby in a carrycot in the other, Les came to my aid and whisked the carrycot up the stairs. A small act of kindness still remembered 35 years later. Once again children in many places will capture hearts as they portray the Nativity. No matter how many times the Christmas story is presented it never loses its appeal.
SALVATIONIST GENERAL INQUIRIES (tel) 020 7367 4890 (email) firstname.lastname@example.org (web) www.salvationarmy.org.uk/salvationist EDITOR Major Jane Kimberley – (tel) 020 7367 4901 MANAGING EDITOR Stephen Pearson – (tel) 020 7367 4891 EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Laura Barker – (tel) 020 7367 4893 Kersten Rieder – (tel) 020 7367 4894 Captain Andrew Stone – (tel) 020 7367 4892 DTP DESIGNER Colin Potter – (tel) 020 7367 4895 DTP OPERATOR Denise D’Souza – (tel) 020 7367 4896 GRAPHIC DESIGNER Archie Bagnall – (tel) 020 7367 4883 ADMINISTRATOR Stella Merino – (tel) 020 7367 4881
Most of us at some time will have played a part in a nativity play. I recall that as a child, I never managed to be an angel, because angels needed to be fair-haired and dainty. Failing to meet the criteria, I inevitably ended up as a shepherd. No tinsel in my dark hair – only a tea towel draped around my head. No white flowing gown and wings for me – only a boy’s dressing gown. However, if I had to choose a role in the Nativity today, it would be that of a shepherd. Imagine encountering the angel of the Lord and hearing the amazing news backed by the praises of the heavenly host and then visiting the stable and finding the newborn baby just as the angel had said. It was hardly surprising that the shepherds wanted to tell everyone about their experience as they went on their way back to the hillside singing praises to God. Shepherd or not, I can still experience the wonder of Christmas and worship Christ the newborn King. Sacred Infant, all divine, What a tender love was thine, Thus to come from highest bliss Down to such a world as this! (SASB 88)
MAJOR JANE KIMBERLEY
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A registered newspaper published weekly by The Salvation Army (United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland) on behalf of the General of The Salvation Army and printed by Wyndeham Grange, Southwick. © André Cox, General of The Salvation Army, 2013. The Salvation Army Trust is a registered charity. The charity number in England and Wales is 214779, in Scotland SC009359 and in the Republic of Ireland CHY6399.
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THE SALVATION ARMY FOUNDER William Booth GENERAL André Cox TERRITORIAL COMMANDER Commissioner Clive Adams EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND PUBLISHING SECRETARY Major Martin Hill
Salvationist 21 December 2013
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES FROM THE PAPERS NOW CHURCHGOERS CAN BE APPY CLAPPY
The Church of England has introduced a new app to allow worshippers to go to church on their smartphones. Sunday Worship, available on… iPhone and iPad, offers full Bible readings for the main Sunday service, together with prayers, based on the Common Worship liturgies launched at the start of the millennium. This follows two other apps published to support congregations in their prayer. An app for daily prayer reflections is already available and has been downloaded more than 50,000 times… At only 69p per year, compared with £11.99 for daily prayer reflections, the Sunday Worship app is by far the cheapest in the Church online store and is expected to prompt many more thousands of downloads… The new app is not intended to replace churchgoing, although for some it might, but to complement it. The Times
FRANCIS: THIS IS MY DREAM Pope Francis has issued a far-reaching manifesto for the Catholic Church in the 21st century… Francis writes: ‘I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s
world rather than for her self-preservation.’ He adds: ‘I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.’ The Catholic Herald
BE MORE VOCAL, FAITH GROUPS TOLD A government minister has urged faith groups to become more vocal on social media in order to make the case for religion in public life. Baroness Warsi, the Minister of State for Faith and Communities, said that when observing Twitter it was possible to think that the majority of people were secular or anti-faith. ‘One of the things I get called on Twitter is “minister for fairies, goblins and imaginary friends”,’ she said… She went on: ‘You guys who actually believe in the power of faith being the driver for good also need to be more vocal, things like social networking… Facebook and Twitter, faith communities are not particularly vocal’… Lady Warsi admitted it was ‘not fashionable to do God’ but said that her colleagues in Government were now more conscious of the importance of faith in public life......................................................... The Tablet
FROM THE ARCHIVES – TEN YEARS ON
Prime Minister lends support AT Trimdon House in his Sedgeﬁeld constituency Tony Blair reads the NORTHERN Division’s Christmas Appeal report as Major Mervin Baker (DC) and Geoff Platt, the division’s appeal coordinator, look on. The Prime Minister expressed interest in the work of The Salvation Army and the size of the Christmas appeal, which is the largest of its kind in the region. – G. P.
News in ‘Salvationist’ dated 13 December 2003
Salvationist 21 December 2013
We wish all our readers â€“ in this territory and in territories and commands overseas â€“ a
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â€˘ from the team at
SALVATIONIST Major Martin Hill / Major Jane Kimberley / Stephen Pearson / Laura Barker / Chris Horne / Kersten Rieder / Captain Andrew Stone / Stella Merino / Colin Potter / Denise D'Souza / Archie Bagnall /
THE GENERAL’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
HRISTMAS is celebrated in so many different ways around the world and yet so easily we forget the true meaning of an event that shaped and changed the world. People of all nationalities and cultures have been drawn to God’s light as revealed in Jesus, whose coming to earth changed and changes the way we think and act. The prophet Isaiah foresaw the coming of Jesus into the world: ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… he will be called Wonderful Counsellor… Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6). A well-known Christmas carol expresses so beautifully the longing that people still have: ‘Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free’ (SASB 79). The world has never known, and will never know, a light more powerful than the light Jesus brought. John described it as ‘the true light that gives light to every man, and… the world did not recognise him… his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him… he gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:9–13). Despite this wonderful reality, there are still far too many people living in darkness and despair, suffering and fear, having lost the will to live, for they see no future. They have lost all sense of purpose and direction because they refuse to turn to ‘the Light’. The Bible presents Jesus as the coming of light into the world – a light that outshines anything we can ever imagine. We are surrounded by flashing lights, neon signs, illuminated 6
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billboards – all designed to attract us, to draw us in. But there is no light that compares to the light of Jesus, for it draws us into the joy of knowing him as our personal Saviour. The impact of Christ’s coming into the world is still in evidence. People are experiencing change and transformation, finding deliverance and freedom, peace and forgiveness. The message of the angels still resonates powerfully in our hearts and lives today. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity for us to be not only witnesses to ‘the
Light’ but also carriers of ‘the Light’. We must celebrate and give thanks for the true meaning of Christmas: ‘He came to give us life in all its fulness… He [‘the Light’] came to banish death and doubt and darkness, He came to set his people free’ (SASB 274). May the Light of the World shine into your hearts this Christmas – and then out to others so that the world will be a brighter place in the coming year. May God richly bless you as you join with us in giving thanks to God for the birth of our Saviour.
The world has never known, and will never know, a light more powerful than the light Jesus brought
GENERAL ANDRÉ COX
May the Light of the World shine into your hearts this Christmas â€“ and then out to others so that the world will be a brighter place in the coming year
NEWS Spirit moves at band weekend BOSCOMBE
WEEK 43 Monday 23 December Hebrews 7 – ‘He [ Jesus] sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself ’ (v27) O Why did the Hebrews need a High Priest, prior to Jesus? O In what way did Jesus become our High Priest? O In what sense is Jesus the ultimate High Priest?
THE band weekend was a special occasion when the Holy Spirit spoke through worship, music, Scripture and personal testimony. The band opened the Saturday evening festival, conducted by the guest leader of the weekend Bandmaster Brian Burditt (Canada and Bermuda Territory). ‘Fire In The Blood’ preceded guest vocalist Kaytie Harding singing ‘Beautiful Name’ and ‘Hallelujah City’. Brian spoke of God’s love, mercy and compassion, which introduced soulful playing in Wilfred Heaton’s ‘Just As I Am’. The band’s ‘Victorian Snapshots
– On Ratcliff Highway’ and ‘Give To Jesus Glory’ brought the evening to a fitting conclusion. In his Sunday morning address, Brian emphasised that only God is really good and the way to him is by bringing our all. This followed a powerful vocal solo by Kaytie, ‘I Bring Thee All’. In the evening, which was themed An Affirmation Of Faith, John Starks played the euphonium solo ‘We’ll All Shout Hallelujah’. Craig Snell (cornet) and Kevin Whittingham (flugelhorn) played ‘The Flower Duet’ while the trombone section contributed ‘I Will Follow Him’. Brian emphasised the simplicity of the gospel message before conducting the band in ‘Solidarity’ to conclude the weekend. – R. C.
Tuesday 24 December Hebrews 8 – Jesus Christ is the High Priest of a new covenant O v5: would you agree that this verse indicates that there is a heavenly tabernacle? O If so, does this help explain why the laborious detail of the Old Testament priesthood and tabernacle had to be so precisely followed? Wednesday 25 December Hebrews 9 – As High Priest, Jesus entered the heavenly tabernacle on our behalf O vv23–28: is it true that only in the light of Jesus’ sacrifice can we make sense of the Old Testament sacrificial system? O v27: is this verse a useful response to those who believe in reincarnation? Thursday 26 December Hebrews 10 – Christ’s self-sacrifice once for all O vv1–10: do you think the author is persuasive to Hebrew Christians who had been wondering whether or not they needed to continue with their sacrificial traditions? O v25: why is it important to be in fellowship with other believers? Friday 27 December Hebrews 11 – Faith in action demonstrated by great Bible characters O Having read the chapter, think about your own belief, faith, life and witness – can you be listed among the faithful?
CS Mark Shaw and corps officer Major Gillian Hoitinga j celebrate the 135th corps anniversary at Whitehaven; thej milestone was marked by an open week, with memorabilia onj display at the hall and a Saturday concert by Carlisle Bandj 8
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Margaret Brock – with corps officers Majors Julie and Paul Johnson, restaurant director Debbie Ramsay and former corps officer Major Stephen Russell – celebrates her retirement as manager of Winton’s The Place Next Door restaurant
NEWS Refugees and families receive support JORDAN SYRIAN refugees and Jordanian families are being helped by the Army’s relief work. After returning from Jordan, Major Henk van Hattem (Czech Republic) explained that 600,000 people have entered the country from Syria in the past 18 months – bringing hardship to resident families as the price of everyday commodities, including food, has risen dramatically. Working in partnership with the Lutheran World Fellowship (LWF), Salvationists now support more than one thousand families by providing winterisation kits. The kits include a heater, a gas bottle with vouchers for six refills, blankets and carpet for families living on concrete floors. Each child in every family is also given a warm tracksuit. In addition to this support, The Salvation Army and LWF are seeking to address the issue of Syrian refugee children who are missing out on schooling. Two projects are being prepared to enable 290 Syrian children to attend Jordanian schools. However, Major van Hattem said that funding to extend these schemes is taking longer to source as potential donors’ attention is being drawn to the Philippines. – J. R.
WEEK 44 Monday 30 December Hebrews 12 – ‘And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us’ (v1) O vv1–3: does the author make it sound like our spiritual journey is a sprint or a marathon? O In what ways can you identify your own Christian journey as being like a race of perseverance? O vv4–13: how can we recognise what is God’s ‘discipline’ and what is not? Tuesday 31 December Hebrews 13 – ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever’ (v8) O v2: how are we to interpret this passage? O Is it possible that some of our encounters with strangers have actually been with angels? O If you take v2 literally, what do you think would be the purpose of such encounters? O v8: how would you use this verse to counter the claim that the God of the Old Testament was wrathful, but the God of the New Testament is loving?
Tamil Salvationists unite DURHAM AND SUNDERLAND MILLFIELD THE 50-strong UK Tamil Salvationists group spent a weekend at Moor House in Durham for their fifth reunion weekend. Corps folk from Sunderland Millfield, corps officers Majors Hilary and Stephen Naylor and divisional leaders Majors Darrell and Katrina Thomas joined the group on the Saturday. On Sunday, the group visited the corps for worship led by Lieut-Colonels Barbara and Cedric Sharp. In a moving moment, the Tamil young people joined with the singing company to sing ‘Nothing But Thy Blood’. – A. R.
Wednesday 1 January 2014 James 1 – James writes to Christian Jews who were scattered by persecution O v1: who is this letter primarily addressed to? What were their circumstances and how should that affect our interpretation and use of it? O vv22–25: how can we ensure that we allow reading the Bible to transform us? Thursday 2 January James 2 – James explains the link between having faith and being obedient O v10: according to this principle, is there anyone who has not once broken God’s law? O vv14–26: is James teaching that salvation is based on faith plus works or is he saying that a result of our faith should be good deeds? O Are these verses an attempt to counter those who took their free salvation too far and thought that actions don’t matter?
At The Belfry shopping centre, Redhill, £4,646 is raised for the Army’s
Friday 3 January James 3 – James warns about the power of the tongue for good and evil O vv1–12: the power of the tongue is sometimes underestimated; have you tamed yours? O What circumstances can lead you to lose control over your tongue? O If one fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control, how can we use this knowledge to control the tongue?
Philippines disaster fund Salvationist 21 December 2013
NEWS Picture: NIGEL BOVEY
Salvation Army brings festive cheer to Parliament LONDON CHRISTMAS cheer filled Westminster Hall as the International Staff Band played ‘A Starry Night’ to MPs, peers, staff and visitors gathered at the annual parliamentary carol service. The event was attended by the Lord Speaker, the Baroness D’Souza CMG, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle MP, territorial leaders Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams and Chief Secretary Colonel David Hinton. In her words of welcome, the Speaker’s Chaplain the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin brought greetings and apologies from John Bercow, the Speaker, who was unable to attend this year. He wrote that the congregation should ‘enjoy this beautiful part of the Christmas build-up’ and paid tribute to the ‘incredible work of The Salvation Army throughout the year’. The staff band accompanied several carols throughout the lunchtime service, including favourites ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Once, In Royal David’s City’. In a time of prayer, Territorial Commander Commissioner Clive Adams encouraged everyone to focus on the gift of Christ at this time of year, and prayed that God would fill their hearts and homes with his light in order to ‘spread the blessedness of the season to experience the shalom’ of Christmas. Baroness D’Souza brought the first lesson from CORRECTION: In the 14 December issue of Salvationist we published a picture provided to us as depicting Salvationists helping at the Lockerbie disaster. This was, in fact, the aftermath of a gas explosion in South West London. Salvationist apologises for this error and any distress this may have caused.
Luke’s Gospel, and Mr Hoyle expressed appreciation for the privilege of being able to listen to The Salvation Army, after reading from John 1. The Deputy Speaker added: ‘As we enjoy our Christmas, may we think of others around the world who are suffering and struggling, either through war, tragedy or other
unexpected events and others who will be on their own.’ To conclude the event, the Speaker’s Chaplain pronounced the benediction after the congregation enthusiastically sang ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’. After wards, the TC explained the significance of the Army’s participation in the carol service. He said: ‘It
is fantastic when you consider the fact that a Salvation Army band is brought into this historic place and allowed to minister to the people who work here. It’s a spectacular opportunity that says something about the Army and about Parliament for allowing it to happen.’ – K. R.
to be their King. There was a tangible sense of the Holy Spirit being present as the young
people allowed God to move among them as they responded in prayer. – I. W.
New skills drummed up at youth day LONDON CENTRAL WORKSHOPS – including drumming, rapping, art and sport – ran throughout the divisional youth day held at William Booth College. The event, called Rain:Reign, encouraged young people to consider who was ruling their lives, and a throne room was opened for them to make a video of what they would do if they were king or queen for a day. Divisional Youth Officer Captain Susan Woodgate held two united sessions with Cadet Ben Cotterill leading the music support. At the end of the day, the young people demonstrated their new skills of drumming, dancing and rapping, and medals and trophies were presented to the winners of a football tournament. In the concluding moments the delegates were asked to think about the changes that would come if they allowed God
Salvationist 21 December 2013
Delegates take an interest in Army’s prison work LONDON PRISON Chaplain Major Stephen Whittingham (HMP Dorchester and HMP/YOI Portland) staffed a resource stand at the Caring For Ex-offenders and Prison Ministries Conferences. More than 500 delegates took an interest in the Army’s work. Guest speaker the Rev Paul
Cowley spoke about William Booth and The Salvation Army as ‘agents of change’ for prisoners and their families and Emmy Wilson from Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, discussed how ex-offenders could integrate into church fellowships. – S. W.
• HE SPENT HIMSELF
This Christmas Eve marks the 30th anniversary of the promotion to Glory of Major Leslie Condon. Lieut-Colonel Ray Steadman-Allen OF, who worked closely with Les, remembers him… IN my wardrobe is a wooden coat hanger inscribed in biro: ‘LES RAINCOAT’. No, I don’t know how I came by it but it is a constant reminder of an old friend. Including his terms of appointment as National Bandmaster and National Music Secretary, Les Condon and I had a companionable working relationship of close to 30 years. But even before he joined us in the International Music Editorial Department he and I had met in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Bandmaster Gurney Doe had ‘borrowed’ me for a band event at Norland Castle (West London); Les was then in the trombone section and we sat together. My wartime naval and his air force service provided common ground. It was only a little later that we discovered we had both served in the Middle East: that was when his signaller skills (tapping Morse code in the office!) revealed themselves. Occasionally he would rap a ‘threenote’ pattern on his desk: it features as a rhythm in the third movement of my ‘The Lord Is King’. When Les joined us as an editorial assistant it was a joy to work with such a contemporary creative spirit, sharing ideas and compositions in progress. He had, of course, a tremendous gift for melodically shaped musical ideas. Another of the departmental luminaries was Michael Kenyon, whose musical gifts accompanied a strong sense of humour. Both men were corps bandmasters. Both men took their bands to each other’s corps. Their private joke was that on the Sunday morning march they contrived, in alternation, to play tunes that
appeared in each other’s compositions. It is also on record that when Les took his band to Cheltenham, where I was present and temporarily out of officership, he programmed my ‘The Great Crusade’, which contains ‘Never Quit The Field’!
Many can testify to Les’s prowess as a tuba player. His writing and performance with the International Staff Band of his own solo ‘Celestial Morn’ was simply stunning. At the other end of that rarefied scale was the fact that he could never resist a tube of some kind, such as a hosepipe, and would put it to his lips and blow – sometimes producing recognisable tunes! We often proposed a piece for vacuum cleaner and band! Seriously, he was seldom happier than in the giving of his teaching talents to any size or age group of musicians – and this may have taken its toll. Happily there are those (and I thank God they are not few) who
give of their best in response to all possible legitimate demands. Though Les was well able to provide music for all occasions, like his successor Lieut-Colonel Norman Bearcroft, he was also generous in his invitations to creative involvement. When we returned to London from an appointment in Australia, Joy and I were quartered in South London and chose to soldier at nearby Croydon, Les being the bandmaster. Having acquired a car, unfamiliar with the route, and knowing that Les, the family man, lived near us, we came out of the meeting and followed his car expecting to reach some spot that would give us our bearings. Les was unaware of this. After what seemed a long, tortuous journey Les parked and got out. He was pastorally visiting – and we were lost! Two episodes remain in the mind, both Christmas linked. Our Australian sojourn gave us sympathy for ‘overseas’ officers – far from home – who were in the UK for that season. So we invited some of them, plus friends like the Bearcrofts and the Whittinghams, just to come for refreshments and a few carols. Les came a little late following a carolling stint. He was rather concerned about some matter and invited me to conduct a band spiritual. Next day the telephone call came that he was with the Lord. My wife and I well recall his thanksgiving meeting. The band played ‘Gift For His Altar’, his powerful setting of Slater’s ‘I Have Not Much To Give Thee, Lord’. Much of his recent experience was in that music. It was eloquent, as was the massive uniformed turnout for his funeral at Fakenham. If ever a comrade musician spent himself for others it was Major Leslie Condon.
LIEUT-COLONEL STEADMANALLEN LIVES IN RETIREMENT IN GILLINGHAM Salvationist 21 December 2013
Captain Chris Carré describes Christmas on the front line
HE sound of warning sirens causes me to dive to the ground for cover. Fortunately my body armour is alongside, so I try to pull it on despite its awkwardness and weight. Somehow, however, I feel protected not just by what I’m wearing but by the prayers being spoken as I Iie prostrate on the ground. ‘Welcome to Kandahar airfield,’ I thought as I lay on my belt-buckle at 3 o’clock in the morning. It was only day two of my tour here in Afghanistan, but what an introduction! Following a period of 20 minutes, the ‘all clear’ sirens sounded and I was
able to return to my bed-space to finish the night’s sleep. The following morning one of my neighbours in the accommodation block remarked: ‘Padre, I’m so glad you’re next door, I feel safe with your “top cover”!’ (That’s a military term for higher authority.) My role as an RAF military chaplain has certainly presented many interesting opportunities for me over the past two years but none more so than my deployment to Afghanistan for four months. To be able to share in this experience gives some credibility to what I say and a platform from which to speak – these are essential as a chaplain.
My role on operations can best be described in three parts: priestly, pastoral and prophetic. First, people expect a padre to be able to ‘do what it says on the tin’. We wear crosses on our uniform and are immediately recognised as the only ones who do not carry arms. In a hostile environment such as this, where the ‘insider threat’ is serious, this is very noticeable. Each Sunday I conduct a British service in the US Chapel in a place that encompasses 40 different nations! Leading church can be a challenging experience, especially when ours is one of 36 services held throughout
CHRISTMAS IN BRIZE NORTON
In September 2010 Captains Chris and Paula Carré were asked to consider becoming military chaplains; Paula shares their experiences
FTER praying about the move to chaplaincy, we believed that it was a risk worth taking. We wouldn’t know it was the right path unless we started walking it, and so, in December 2011, we moved as a family 12
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to RAF Brize Norton for a new adventure. Not to try would avoid the possibility of failure but then we would also miss the possibility of growth. It is now December 2013 and at RAF Brize Norton Christmas is definitely on the agenda. Children’s Christmas parties, lantern processions and carols
around the tree are all typical in so many different villages, towns and cities around the UK – and yet here, in a military setting, it is all distinctly different. Military children, for example, have the opportunity to meet Santa aboard an aircraft at 30,000ft! This Christmas will also be very
the week. Still, I remain true to my denominational roots and bring something of The Salvation Army to Afghanistan during the service. Not everyone understands and I get some strange looks at times but most understand the theology and practice of what we do and are happy to engage. I have also been immensely blessed through one of the US services that I am able to attend. This has been a spiritual lifeline to me, as at times I have found it difficult being away from home for such an extended period. However, God has remained faithful and I rest upon this and the prayers offered by those back home. Unfortunately, because of the nature of our work here it is inevitable from time to time that troops suffer casualties and sometimes the loss of a colleague. On these occasions we can but solely rely on God’s strength to say the right words at the right time to the right people. While feelings of inadequacy often surface, I get opportunity to bring some words of comfort through a vigil service
different for us because Chris is in Afghanistan on a four-month deployment and not scheduled to return home until January. The distance has brought me a new understanding of what it is to be a military wife. Technology allows us to speak regularly and it is wonderful for us to see Chris and hold a conversation courtesy of Skype. It is easy on these occasions to think of him ‘on a course somewhere in the UK’, yet the occasional pictures
where we remember the personnel we’ve lost. Secondly, I value highly the pastoral element of my work as it brings
I FEEL PROTECTED NOT JUST BY WHAT I’M WEARING BUT BY THE PRAYERS BEING SPOKEN AS I LIE PROSTRATE ON THE GROUND
opportunity for individuals to speak honestly and in circumstances that would not otherwise present themselves. I have lost count of the number of occasions when tough, hardened, battle-ready soldiers have asked me for
a ‘quiet word’ and two hours later we’re still discussing, for example, the impact that a broken marriage has had upon them. It’s as if they seem comfortable to be able to let their guard down in front of the padre, and it’s therapeutic that they can be honest with themselves about what they’re experiencing. It’s in these times that I have to rely on God’s wisdom and discernment to be able to guide them forward in what can be devastating circumstances. The distance that being away on operations creates between soldiers and their families adds another dimension of pain for them especially when the people they love are hurting some distance away. Thirdly, while my military experience is perhaps limited, I would hope that my life skills speak for themselves. When a senior officer explains to me that he has to reprimand an individual and asks for my advice, what do I say? When another tells me that he has to make tactical decisions of locations CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
stark contrast to the twinkly lights and landscape of the UK with its rampant consumerism. Part of my ministry is with the Military Wives Choir (MWC). Singing has always been an integral part of my worship. In March this year the MWC RAF Brize Norton was formed. While the music may be more mainstream than we’re used to in church circles, I still believe it to be part of my worship.
Matthew and Ethan with Santa
I receive and the news reports on television are stark reminders that he is deployed in a war zone. Christmas for Chris will be raw, real and remote and experienced in a landscape probably something like the one Jesus was born into; it will be in
CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
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FEATURE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13
THE DISTANCE THAT BEING AWAY ON OPERATIONS CREATES BETWEEN SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ADDS ANOTHER DIMENSION OF PAIN
and targets for a military strike what do I say? It’s at times like these that I have to look heavenwards for inspiration and pray that the words that emerge are of the omniscient Holy Spirit and not of the padre!
Christmas, this year, will bring its own challenges to operations. The very fact that individuals are away from their families causes pastoral concerns – for me too, as I am spending Christmas away from home. The welfare provision here is second to none as we try to make it as palatable as possible for the troops. Entertainment is put on each evening, with quizzes, films and music nights. To celebrate the festive season we will be assembling for a carol service under the Afghan night sky, which in itself is perhaps the closest I’ll get to the original biblical scene. Traditionally, on Christmas Day the senior officers will serve the junior ranks, and most individuals – having consumed a full turkey roast – will get an opportunity to contact home at some point during the day. However, we cannot forget that operations continue, so while the festivities are
appreciated they are only a temporary respite before people return to work. As this will be the first Christmas I’ve spent away from my family, I too will experience the depth of emotions and difficulties the rest of the troops here face. While this comes at a personal cost, if it means that I get the opportunity to present God’s Kingdom to those serving here, then I thank God for this platform from which to speak.
choir, I lead a weekly Bible study for dependants of serving personnel. Our group is diverse with just about every denomination represented, which proves quite a challenge when it comes to preparation! Moving from corps work to where we are now has taken some adjustment but one which has enriched our lives as individuals and as a family. The boys have had some amazing opportunities to explore and to fly in military aircraft. They have had to deal with a considerable amount of change with their dad being away at Christmas. Although an impending move and a change of school in the new year will bring new challenges, I know that God is watching over them.
In and through our present military experiences, I am assured that God knows us. He knows our abilities, our potential, our past, our likes, our dislikes and, most importantly, our hearts – all of which I feel he is using in my life as I seek to serve him as a military wife, mum and Salvation Army officer.
CAPTAIN CHRIS CARRÉ IS A PADRE WITH THE RAF IN KANDAHAR PROVINCE
Military wives choir
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13
The choir allows me to add flavour and light to a community of women in similar situations – women who are used to coping and just getting on with it. Yet I am challenged to bring something different to them – light and hope to the dark days they go through. MWC members know who I am and that I pray for them; this has provided many opportunities to share my faith, not least after one of our recent performances in an aircraft hangar. Perched 40 feet high on a platform, we had the opportunity to try a fast-rope descent to those waiting below. This provided a perfect opportunity to talk about issues of faith! As well as being salt and light in the 14
Salvationist 21 December 2013
CAPTAIN PAULA CARRÉ IS PROGRAMME SUPPORT OFFICER, THQ
• EXPERIENCE THE FULNESS OF LIFE IN CHRIST!
Lieutenant Xander Coleman (Banbury) reviews Boundless: Living Life In Overflow by Majors Danielle Strickland and Stephen Court THIS book explores the invitation from Jesus to experience more in our lives and Christian journeys than ‘work, groceries and laundry’, and a ticket into Heaven when we die. The authors use the journey of salvation in Booth’s song ‘O Boundless Salvation’ to urge us deeper into the ocean of God’s goodness. The book is conversational in tone, easy to read and includes a prayer at the end of each chapter. Strickland and Court share many stories from their lives and ministries as officers and give us a glimpse into their own experience of boundless life with Christ. Having worked with them for three years, I can
witness that they have a genuine and powerful experience of fulness of life! The book starts off assuming no active faith and although the first few chapters might be under-stimulating for experienced Christians, the read is enjoyable and later chapters make it worth the wait. Boundless is very suitable for pre-Christians and new Christians as well as more mature believers. In fact, the book seems targeted specifically for people who are starting to explore faith and looking for more to life. I used a chapter a day after my devotions, but could imagine the book
being useful as material for a book club or cell group. For me, the most impacting part of the book was the reminder that salvation is not just inviting Jesus into our lives, but also involves Jesus inviting us into his life. Salvation is bigger than you or me – at its heart it is about ‘the whole world redeeming’ and we are invited to participate with God in that redemption of the whole world. O
Boundless: Living Life In Overflow is available from www.abebooks .co.uk (Abe Books) for £6.81 – free postage in the UK
• BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO
Captain Gavin Friday (East Scotland DHQ) reviews Youth Work From Scratch by Martin Saunders MORE than a guide for those seeking to start new youth initiatives, this book gives advice that is capable of breathing new life into the most established programmes. We are reminded that Jesus saw potential in young people, and we are commanded to do the same – and our obedience will see results as young people are best equipped to connect with contemporary culture. Far too often teenagers on the street have been misunderstood or feared. However, close focus on our communities reveals that there is not one youth culture but diverse ‘youth cultures’. This diversity needs to inform how we fill the gaps in provision. The practical outworking of community questionnaires is a
useful part of the book. Having established the biblical and prayer foundations needed in youth ministry – an important reminder that any effective youth work starts with prayer – the attention is centred on building a team. Because this ministry is ‘never a one-man show’, youth workers of integrity and good character need to be grown. One of the strengths of the book is that it sees things through a missional lens and prompts the Church to ask questions about its youth ministry. Youth workers have a message to share and content is vital. What remains clear about this book is that it does not offer quick fixes to youth ministry, but shares the
appropriate policies, partnerships, supervision and boundaries that can be adopted to work towards an enriching environment for our youth. I would encourage you to evaluate your own style of youth work and see how open you are to embrace change. Saunders offers some solid advice to anyone seeking the best for young people. More than that, he showcases the hope that young people can find in Jesus and encourages every youth worker to give opportunity for young people to access it for themselves. This is a journey worth pursuing! O
Youth Work From Scratch is available from www.lionhudson.com (Lion Hudson) for £12 Salvationist 21 December 2013
Commissioner Mike Parker presents the last in an Advent series by UK officers serving overseas
HRISTMAS is a ‘good news’ story. It’s all about Jesus. I call it a good news story, but his arrival caused a scandal in his hometown. There were question marks regarding his origin, and Joseph had to make a choice: be obedient to God or give in to peer pressure and disassociate himself from Mary. He obeyed God. Jesus was born in a humble stable, yet he was Almighty God. He came to save us from our sins, to forgive, restore and transform us. He came to give us hope. It’s a wonderful story, but his birth presents us with a challenge. Read Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6. Joseph decided to obey God, trust in him and not give in to peer pressure. How does this challenge you? In Indonesia we have a mother and baby home on Jawa Island, which my wife and I have visited on several occasions. It is a special place of support and blessing to young mums. Most are teenagers, who – like Mary – have a difficult start to their lives as mothers. However, through the ministry of The Salvation Army they receive love and support, and express their thanks for the blessing that is theirs amid turmoil. Read Luke 2:10. The angel brought good news for ‘all the people’. Good news should always bring thanksgiving to God. Have you thanked God this Christmas? Indonesia is a country of extremes. Babies might be born in the bush or at a modern maternity hospital. The Salvation Army in Indonesia has 20 clinics and hospitals located in cities 16
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as well as in the rainforest. In this respect we are challenged by one of the Millennium Development Goals – to reduce infant mortality. Our hospitals and clinics and nutritional programmes, aimed at the disadvantaged, are just part of our holistic ministry in bringing change to our society and responding to the Development Goals. It is wonderful to see Salvationists serving in this ministry. The recipients get a glimpse of the Lord we love.
CHRISTMAS IS A ‘GOOD NEWS’ STORY
Read Isaiah 9:2. Even in our darkest moments, the light of God’s love can dawn on our hearts. Serving suffering humanity takes on specific challenges when we look at the needs of our world. Praise God that he can turn challenges into opportunities! Although without rainforests or earthquakes, Israel, like Indonesia, was still not a safe place to give birth. Not only was hygiene poor, but at the time of the birth of Jesus, King Herod had ordered new babies to be killed. Infant mortality rose significantly in those days! Read Luke 2:8–15. Even though King Herod rejected the Christ child, these humble shepherds were not going to miss this momentous occasion. They ‘hurried off' (v16) to see the child, despite their initial fears. It may not always be easy to do what God wants us to do – indeed it can be difficult. But, oh the joy when we respond to
what the Lord has told us (v20). Is this your testimony? I say it again: Christmas is a ‘good news’ story! If you want to make the most of your Christmas, if you want to make the most of your Christian life, you must grow in the grace and love of Jesus. The truth is, Jesus must be born in you. Read Isaiah 9:6: ‘For to us a child is born’. Is Jesus born in your heart afresh this Christmas? Have you allowed him into all aspects of your life? In order to do the work of God, we need to be the people of God. REFLECTION The story of Christmas reminds us that, like Joseph, we need to be obedient to God. O We must praise God and even in the darkest moments his light will shine. O
I pray we will all discover that the joy of the Lord is our strength in every situation. The path ahead may be dark; life at times may seem scary; we may feel afraid. But God is with us. He is Immanuel! We will serve him effectively because of his presence in our hearts.
COMMISSIONER PARKER IS TERRITORIAL COMMANDER, INDONESIA
7. 1. JANICE CLARK Soldier JACKIE ROBERTS, TONY HERGET, VANESSA ROGERSON, VICTORIA CARVER (inset) Adherent members LETCHWORTH JANICE started attending the Army again after standing close to the hall while waiting for the Olympic torch to pass by. She was enrolled as a soldier. Tony decided to make a commitment as an adherent member after attending for a while and feeling comfortable at the Army. Vanessa started attending Sunday worship after participating in a group that met at the hall. Jackie had attended the Army as a child. At summer school, Victoria decided that becoming an adherent member was the next step in her Christian life. – D. F. 2. TOMMY McINTYRE Adherent member PORT GLASGOW SUPPORTED by his daughter, Tommy was welcomed to the fellowship as an adherent member and thanked the congregation for its warm welcome. He testified to how God has had his hand on his life while recovering from addictions and being in remission from throat cancer. He is pictured with corps leaders Territorial Envoys Evelyn and John Scott. – J. S. 3. DANIEL KELLEHER Adherent member STROOD WHEN Dan met his fiancée Cat, he started attending the corps. In his testimony, he thanked God for bringing them together and leading him to the Army. Dan, who takes an active part in the corps working with the young people, was welcomed as an adherent member by corps officer Captain Jane-Marie Cook. – J. C. 4. LIAM ELLIS Junior soldier SCARBOROUGH FAMILY and friends came to support Liam as he was enrolled as a
junior soldier by corps officer Lieutenant Richard Weston. When his mother attended the brownie church parade, Liam started to attend the corps and became involved in various YP activities. He is looking forward to joining the YP band. – J. M. 5. REG COLE, DAPHNE COLE Adherent members SALISBURY AFTER the community carol service, Reg and Daphne were invited to the corps by a neighbour and started attending a few months later. Supported by family and friends, they responded to God’s call to make the corps their spiritual home and were welcomed by corps officer Captain Peter Clark. – P. C. 6. CHRISTOPHER GARDNER Adherent member BEDWORTH CHRISTOPHER grew up in the Army, but stopped attending as a teenager. He returned through Employment Plus and started volunteering for the Army’s anti-human trafficking programme. On his 19th birthday, Christopher was welcomed as an adherent member by Major Margaret Bailey (Rugby). – J. V. 7. LUCY NORTHWOOD Soldier LEICESTER SOUTH ALTHOUGH Lucy had grown up in the Army, it was only after much prayerful consideration and receiving support and encouragement from others, that she decided to make a commitment as a soldier. She spoke about her excitement and used words from the songs ‘I Can Think Of Him’ and ‘More Than Wonderful’ to illustrate her testimony. – B. B. Salvationist 21 December 2013
ANNOUNCEMENTS ARMY PEOPLE LOCAL OFFICERS APPOINTED OCCMS Gill Symonds, Winton OBM Philip Wainwright, Castleford OCYS Jillian Gemmell, Govan MARRIAGE Feltwell to Alexandra Bunford at Nuneaton by Majors Christine and Colin Edwin
WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES Platinum (70th): OSamuel and Rtd OSCS Ethel Morgan, Clydebank (24 December) Blue Sapphire (65th): OJohn and Ellen Colbert, Blackburn (1 January) Golden: OBandsman/Songster Rex and Dorothy Boughton, Chatham (28 December) DEDICATED TO GOD Louise, daughter of Mark Barry and Emma-Louise Wight, by Major Chris Connelly; Rosie Heather-May, daughter of Craig and Lorayne Gemmell, by Colonels David and Grace Napier, both at Govan OElijah David, son of Jonathan and Sarah Lomax, at Regent Hall by Major Richard Gaudion ORhys Adam, son of Gail Cormack, at Kirkcaldy by Captains Carrie and Philip James ODaisy Mabel Faith, daughter of Bandsman Ian and Becky Clapcott, at Boscombe by Major Val Mylechreest ODimitris George, son of George Papachristadoulou and Sotiria Sitara, at Cambridge Heath by Major Abby Howe OAlexa
BEREAVED Chris Cline, Hastings Temple, and David Adams of their father Cyril Adams OKathryn Normanton, Lockerbie (formerly Halifax), of her mother Marjorie Dennis OSongster
RETIRED OFFICERS Birthday congratulations: OCaptain Stephen Truffet (85 on 31 December) OMajor Jean James (85 on 2 January) 18
Salvationist 21 December 2013
John Smithers-Spinney (85 on 3 January) OMajor Diana Woodward (90 on 3 January) OCaptain Joan Le Marchant-Davison (80 on 7 January) PROMOTED TO GLORY Major Hilda Bower from Northampton on 7 December OBill Milner, Clowne OSylvia Jones; Brian Temple, Reading Central OMrs
ON THE AIR OBBC
Radio Scotland 92–95 FM (and online at bbc.co.uk/scotland): John and Heather Coutts have recorded Advent services for New Every Morning (6.30 am) on the theme of Light A Candle For Christmas. The programmes were scheduled for broadcast each Sunday during Advent.
Radio Solent (96.1, 103.8 FM): Major Ray Begley, Boscombe, will present The Paper Review (8 am) on The Saturday Breakfast Show on 21 December.
Surrey (104, 104.6 FM): Woking Band is playing carol requests (8–9 am) on Sunday 22 December.
local transmitting of Celebrating Christmas With The Salvation Army:BBC Jersey 6 pm, 24 December; BBC Cambridge 1 pm, 25 December; BBC Radio Cumbria 1 pm, 25 December; BBC Coventry and Warwickshire 5 pm, 25 December; BBC Tees 6 pm, 25 December and BBC Lancashire 7 am, 26 December.
TRIBUTES MAJOR META ROBINSON GOD called Meta Robinson from South Molton, a small corps in Devonshire, to become a Salvation Army officer. After training in the wartime Fearless Session of 1943 she was commissioned and appointed to Feltham, followed by several other corps appointments in the West London area. This preceded three years as a member of training college staff and corps appointments in South Wales and southern England. The major is particularly remembered for her many years of youth ministry, which began as divisional young people’s secretary in East Anglia in 1959. From 1961 to 1965 she was National Guide Organiser, followed by appointments as divisional youth secretary in Hull and Lincs, East London and North London. She returned to NHQ as Assistant National Home League Secretary in 1974 and then became Goodwill League Organiser. Her latter years of service at IHQ from 1977 were spent in the Secretary’s Department, with special responsibility for the Bond of Service and Fellowship from 1982 to 1986, when the major retired after a period of extended service. A friend, Catherine Crowhurst, writes: ‘Major Robinson faithfully served the Lord in a number of corps and senior appointments. I first met her when I was her lieutenant, in my first appointment to Tredegar and then Barry, in 1953. ‘She was entirely dedicated to the service of others, maintaining a joyous zeal for the Lord and the Army. When in later years she was mostly confined to home, she kept her interest and prayers in the work she so loved.’
ENGAGEMENTS GENERAL ANDRÉ COX AND COMMISSIONER SILVIA COX: OIndia Northern, Fri 3 Jan 2014 - Tu 7 OIndia Eastern, Wed 8 - Mon 13 THE CHIEF OF THE STAFF (COMMISSIONER WILLIAM ROBERTS) AND COMMISSIONER NANCY ROBERTS: OICO (welcome to session), Th 16 Jan 2014 THE TERRITORIAL COMMANDER (COMMISSIONER CLIVE ADAMS) AND COMMISSIONER MARIANNE ADAMS: OHadleigh Employment Training Centre (carol service), Mon 23 Dec OWest Scotland, Sat Sun 5 Jan 2014 THE CHIEF SECRETARY (COLONEL DAVID HINTON) AND COLONEL SYLVIA HINTON: ORomford, Sun 12 Jan 2014 OWilliam Booth College (spiritual day), Wed 15 COMMISSIONER WILLIAM COCHRANE: OSingapore, Malaysia and Myanmar, Wed 8 - Mon 13 Jan 2014
RETIRED BANDMASTER TOMMY ARCHER, PORTADOWN A TOTALLY committed Christian, Tommy transferred to Portadown from Lurgan on his marriage to Gladys, with whom he shared 78 happy years. Tommy was a much sought-after cornet soloist in his early years. For almost 45 years he served as corps bandmaster and encouraged and taught many young people to develop their musicianship. Well known around the town, he only stopped driving to the nursing home to see Gladys and attending the Army in March, and played ‘Crimond’ on his cornet at his recent 100th birthday celebrations. His grandson Jonathan used the Boys’ Brigade motto, Sure and Steadfast, to describe his ‘amazing grandfather’. – J. G.
MRS MARY BURN, BEDLINGTON BORN in Bedlington in 1924, Mary was a lifelong Salvationist, carrying on a family tradition begun by her grandparents. A competent corps pianist, she also accompanied the songsters and male voice party
and served as singing company leader for eight years. Army music played a prominent part in Mary’s life; she also spent 50 years supporting her husband Jim, who was the bandmaster. The couple had four children – Ian, Eric, Janice and Anne – and Mary delighted in her role as the grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of twelve. A strong and influential character, Mary based her Salvationism on a straightforward Bible-based faith, which she was happy to talk about at any opportunity. – K. L.
MRS ELLEN ALLEN, POOLE THE youngest of two brothers and two sisters, Ellen was born in South Shields in 1920. In 1928 the family moved to Yeovil, where Ellen became active in corps life. After marriage to Ralph in 1941, employment took them to Winchester, Oxford and Andover. They had one son, David, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
In 1977 the couple retired to Poole, where Ellen soon made many friends and became an active corps member. She was a lady of quiet disposition, with strong influences for good, who always showed love and concern for her family and friends. Deteriorating health in recent years prevented her attendance at meetings. She is now at peace with the Lord. – G. G./D. A.
MRS DOREEN HARDCASTLE, PARKGATE BORN in 1926, Doreen was taken to the corps by her Salvationist parents and – apart from a short period – worshipped there all her life. Doreen served the Lord in a variety of roles, including corps cadet guardian, recruiting sergeant and songster and singing company pianist. Her influence in the YP and senior corps was far-reaching and, at all times, sensitive and caring. Age limitations did not stop her – in meetings or just in passing – taking opportunities to tell people about the Lord, who had done so much for her. She was forever thanking and praising God for his goodness. Many – including her daughter, son-inlaw, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – will miss her influence for good. – T. G.
Salvationist 21 December 2013
LETTERS THE TROOPS DID A GREAT JOB I HAVE to disagree with Jim Kelly’s letter (Salvationist 30 November) and heartily endorse Lieut-Colonel Marion Drew’s response. My heart lifts in praise whenever I see uniformed Salvationists on television. In these days when virtually anyone walking down the street has a high-visibility jacket on, the sight and sound of a Salvation Army band playing God’s music is simple, straightforward and effective. And with the immediacy of social media, we can tweet, Facebook or text our prayerful support. It reminds me so much of the photograph of a Salvation Army officer comforting a girl in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings. No caption was needed – the officer was simply showing God’s love in action! Morvyn Finch, Woodbridge
UNFORTUNATELY BAND WAS ANONYMOUS HAVING viewed the Lord Mayor’s Show on television over the past few years, I decided to go to London to see it in person this year. Our family enjoyed the great carnival atmosphere and looked forward to seeing the Household Troops Band march past. The band was superb! However, there was nothing to differentiate this band from any other band in the parade. Unfortunately as there was no wind, the flag wasn’t flying, and the wording on the hat badges and cap bands could not be seen from the roadside. Other music groups marched behind placards stating who they were, but there was no placard to tell the crowds who we were. Lieut-Colonel Marion Drew’s response to the letter from Jim Kelly (Salvationist 30 November) said our presentation needed to be simple, clear, uncomplicated and instantly understandable. Unfortunately it failed on all counts, as people did not know who we were. Other organisations were creative in their presentations, giving good information on what they were achieving. My two young children were given no end of flags, sweets, hats, etc, from other organisations – giving details of who they were and what they do. I know that such publicity costs money, but surely this is an effective way of letting people know who we are, what we stand for and what we try to achieve by serving others in God’s name. I do agree with the colonel that we need personally to testify and witness to others and must grasp every opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, I feel that the Army keeps missing this particular opportunity. Peter Best, Poole 20
Salvationist 21 December 2013
CHRIST DIED FOR ME AND PAID MY DEBT I AM intrigued by the recollection of a chorus line from Robert Johnson’s song ‘A Robe Of White’ which I thought to be, ‘paid my debt on Calvary’s mountain’. When I looked it up in our present songbook the line read, ‘died for me on Calvary’s mountain’. So I went back further. Gordon Avery’s Companion To The Song Book gives a first publication date of ‘A Robe Of White’ as Salvation Army Music Vol 2 (1892). That early version reads ‘paid my debt’. But the 1900 songbook has it amended to ‘died for me’ and that’s what it’s been ever since. Curiously, though, my wife and I – whose childhood Army ‘cultures’ were largely separated by many miles – both knew and always have sung ‘paid my debt’ despite the words in the songbooks. Perhaps others did likewise – it seems a folk memory somewhere. I’m sure we never realised it until the recent issue (on a related subject) was aired. Ray Steadman-Allen OF, Lieut-Colonel, Gillingham
GRATITUDE AND HUMILITY MY friend is a retired Methodist missionary who served in South Africa. She answered her phone one evening to find Nelson Mandela on the line. He was ringing from Buckingham Palace, during a state visit, to thank her for visiting him in prison on Robben Island. Salvationist readers may be moved, as I was, by his gratitude and humility. John Young, Reverend Canon, York Write to Salvationist (Letters), 101 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BN or email email@example.com
Salvationist 21 December 2013
Published on Jan 6, 2014