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The Soldiers' & Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

Local church goes behind the wire

ASR Dave Hossack, Pastor Toby Martin and Revered Warran Fawcett outside the Chaplaincy Centre at ITC Catterick.

ASR Dave Hossack, Pastor Toby Martin and Reverend Warran Fawcett outside the Chaplaincy Centre at ITC Catterick.

The Army values community engagement. For a lot of our serving personnel, especially single soldiers living on base, life can quickly become a ‘military bubble’. For many, their base is not only where they work but where they eat and sleep. Often, soldiers and aviators are not involved in the local community and for the most part, the local community does not have much involvement with them, other than perhaps the local pubs and fast-food facilities!

For some time, SASRA has been eager to host base visits. These visits would provide leaders of churches who are local to military communities an opportunity to go behind the wire of Army and RAF barracks where our Scripture Readers serve and converse with the soldiers there.

In February, a base visit was held at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) Catterick, where Army Scripture Reader (ASR) Dave Hossack works. Regional Manager North, Andrew McMahon brought Pastor Toby Martin of Grace Church Boroughbridge and Reverend Warran Fawcett of Grace Church Catterick onto camp and ASR Dave Hossack was able to join them.

A copy of John’s Gospel was gratefully accepted by the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and he was made aware of the local churches.

One conversation had was with a passing Serjeant from the RIFLES. There was good discussion between Scripture Reader, Serjeant and visiting clergy. A copy of John’s Gospel was gratefully accepted by the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and he was made aware of the local churches.

Local churches provide a place for soldiers to interact with the people they are serving and help them get more involved in the community. Soldiers can create relationships outside the military environment as well as getting involved in charitable events run by churches. Local communities are also enabled to connect with serving men and women in a positive and mutually beneficial way. By bringing pastors from local churches onto military bases, they can begin these vital relationships with soldiers and invite them along to various events that are held. SASRA base visits also provide the local church leaders and SASRA Representatives the chance to see with their own eyes the opportunities that Scripture Readers have.

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