By Andrew McMahon, Regional Manager North
On Sunday 5 November, SASRA Scripture Reader Steven Dougherty supported Morley Community Church in a Remembrance service commemorating the lives of those from the church who had served in previous world wars.
The service was organised by Councillor Andy Dalton, a church elder and firm SASRA supporter. Regional Manager Andrew McMahon was also in attendance as were members of the local Army Cadet Force, their families and several serving military personnel. In addition, there were others from the Royal British Legion, the town council and even the town Mayor. The Member of Parliament for Morley, Dame Andrea Jenkyns, also participated in the service singing, ‘Requiem for a Soldier’; a moving tribute to the sacrifice of so many.
ASR Steven Dougherty shared a gospel message based on John 3:16, before presenting New Testaments, produced by Good News for Everyone, to each of the 16 cadets in attendance. The attendees then filed outside and in a solemn ceremony, wreaths were laid at each graveside as the town crier read the details of each soldier. Refreshments followed in the church building, where young and old, military and civilian, church and ‘unchurched’ freely shared and discussed the day over tea, coffee and cake.
Mr Andy Dalton stated that this was the best evangelism opportunity the church had experienced. Over 100 attendees, half of whom were not part of the church congregation and seemed to have no profession of faith. The church was grateful to SASRA, once again. Last year, ASR Gavin Dickson facilitated a similar service, and this year, Steven Dougherty, an RAF Scripture Reader, was able to offer that bridging capability between faith and military service, enabling the local church to interact with its veterans, cadets and civic leaders.