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The Soldiers' & Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

Connecting with the Christian Public at Summer Conferences

SASRA stand at Bangor Worldwide Convention 2023. © SASRA

The SASRA stand at Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention. © SASRA

We’ve had a busy summer attending a mix of conferences spanning the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Here’s a roundup of where we’ve been.

The season started with Elim Leaders’ Summit in Harrogate, where Regional Manager Andrew McMahon and ASR Chika Onugha had a SASRA stand. There were many encouraging conversations and some literature was taken. Friendships with other stall holders such as the Christian Institute and London City Mission were also developed.

Next was the Grace Baptist Assembly in Derbyshire, where Andrew enjoyed excellent preaching, prayer and fellowship. Relationships with existing SASRA supporters were renewed. In addition, Andrew was able to speak of SASRA’s work amongst the military in Catterick Garrison through ASR Dave Hossack, supported by the new Grace Church Catterick church plant.

Following on was the Big Church Festival in West Sussex. Our stall attended by Regional Managers – Andrew McMahon and David Malam and ASR Mike Blackstock also in attendance. There were a lot of conversations during the course of the two days, with particular interest amongst many of the young people in the recent Xercise initiative. Many of those we spoke to were unaware of SASRA but were interested in our work.

ASR Chika Onugha and Andrew McMahon at the Elim Leaders' Summit 2023. © SASRA

ASR Chika Onugha and Regional Manager Andrew McMahon at the Elim Leaders’ Summit. © SASRA

ASR Paul Curd and Laura Reuter at The Faith Mission's Edinburgh Convention. © SASRA

ASR Paul Curd and Prayer Coordinator Laura Reuter at The Faith Mission’s Edinburgh Convention. © SASRA

The Co-Mission REVIVE weekend in Kent was attended by David Malam. There were a small number of Christian Missions represented at the event – with SASRA having a stall, helpfully placed right next to the queue for coffee! There was considerable interest in our work from families and Church leaders – all based in London. We were able to give out quite a lot of magazines – many to folk who had never heard about our work before.

In early July, Scripture Reader Paul Curd and Prayer Coordinator Laura Reuter had a stand at The Faith Mission’s Edinburgh Convention. As well as enjoying the speakers, there was opportunity to share about the upcoming ministry at the Tattoo rehearsals week.

Over July and August, Cumbria’s Keswick Convention had a stand in the Base Camp facility throughout all three weeks. Andrew was supported by Scripture Readers Steven Dougherty (RAF), Dave Hossack (Army) and Steve Curley (RAF) in weeks one to three, respectively.

Hundreds of conversations were enjoyed. Many approached the stand who wish to join, or who are in the process of joining, the Navy, Army or Air Force. Several current serving members of the Armed Forces were encouraged. 

Many camouflage Bibles and New Testaments were offered and gratefully accepted by parents and friends, of those who intended to serve. Some non-Christians who were supporting the event as police or medical services were offered Scriptures and encouraged to seek Christ as Saviour. Hundreds of supporters, current and new, engaged with those on the stall, gratefully received literature and asked for our eNewsletters. All-in-all, a busy and exciting period, where our ministry to the military was shared with a substantial cohort of the evangelical church.

ASR Steve Curley and Martin Gliniecki at Keswick. © SASRA

ASR Steve Curley and Executive Director Martin Gliniecki at Keswick. © SASRA

The Evangelical Movement of Wales’ Aber Conference continued its tradition of running a Missions Exhibition in a community centre in the Town Centre. This ran from Tuesday to Friday of the Conference week. In typical Welsh style, the Mission Exhibition was nearly quite literally washed out as there was some water damage to the centre before it opened! Our SASRA stall remained dry, however, and was manned by David Malam and ASR Steven Dougherty. The Mission Exhibition was very well supported by attendees at the conference and so there were many expressions of interest with lots of magazines taken and follow-up opportunities to engage with churches in the future.

In August, Scripture Readers Paul Somerville and Scott Witherick were at the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention in Northern Ireland, supported by Advocates Alastair and Ronnie.

Last but not least in our roundup is the Scottish Northern Convention, where SASRA was one of the chosen Mission Partners. ASR Roddy Macleod spoke about the work during one of the sessions, as well as having a stand.

The SASRA team at the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention 2023. © SASRA

The SASRA team at the Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention: Alastair, ASR Scott Witherick, Ronnie, ASR Paul Somerville. © SASRA

ASR Roddy Macleod at the Scottish Northern Convention.

ASR Roddy Macleod at the Scottish Northern Convention.

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