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The Soldiers' & Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

Breaking the Ice and Building Relationships

Soldiers walking into the SASRA cafe at the Edinburgh Tattoo. © SASRA

Each year the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo attracts thousands of viewers to the spectacular performances from both local and international talent.

Over a week of rehearsals ahead of twenty-five shows, 800 performers practice at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh. During this rehearsal week, SASRA sets up a café just across from the parade square. The team of Scripture Readers enjoy mingling among the performers, with the room buzzing as people flood in to grab a hot drink before returning to rehearse.

Swiss Army Band performers enjoy a break from rehearsals in the SASRA cafe. © SASRA

Swiss Army Band performers enjoy a break from rehearsals in the SASRA cafe. © SASRA

ASR Mike Blackstock talking to performers from the RAF. © SASRA

ASR Mike Blackstock talking to performers from the RAF. © SASRA

As always, the Pipes and Drums are supported by the Tattoo Dancers and Fiddlers, who are a vital part of the show. This year, the Pipes and Drums were joined by their Australian counterparts, the Scots College Sydney Pipes and Drums and the Scots School Albury Pipe Band Drums. Offering a listening ear and welcoming any questions, Scripture Readers chatted to both national and international performers, including the Swiss Armed Forces Central Band, the US Air Force Band (who perform for the first time at the Tattoo this year), His Majesty The King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway and the Defence Force Steel Orchestra from Trinidad and Tobago.

Hundreds of cups of tea and coffee were given, countless sweet snacks eaten, numerous Bibles and literature taken. Once the ice was broken (the hot drinks and sweets helped!) questions were asked such as, ‘What is a Scripture Reader?’ and ‘What do you do?’ Some of the performers remembered us from the previous year.

Scripture Readers share their experiences at this year's Tattoo.

Towards the end of the week, a rapport had been built between SASRA and the performers. We look forward to serving the performers again next year and building on the relationships forged this week.

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