Church Moderator visits RAF Halton

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Feb 22nd 2018

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has paid a visit to RAF Halton. He presides at the Annual Meeting of the Church of Scotland, where representatives make decisions about the life and work of the Church.  Thereafter, during their year-long appointment, they are tasked with visiting various areas of the country and world, including one of the military services.  The current Moderator, The Right Reverend Dr Derek Browning, visited four RAF Stations, starting with a visit to RAF Benson then on to RAF Halton, RAF High Wycombe and finally to RAF Brize Norton.

Dr Browning’s visit focused on the pastoral care and welfare support available to service personnel.  A report of the visit as well as anecdotal accounts will then be delivered to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, an organisation that according to the latest census, represents 32% of the Scottish population.

Dr Browning arrived at Halton’s airfield in a Puma from RAF Benson where he was met by Reverend (Wg Cdr) David Richardson, Reverend (Sqn Ldr) David Skillen and Chaplaincy Clerk, Mrs Joss Westwood, who began by taking him for a tour of the new Chaplaincy Centre. The remainder of his visit was taken up by a visit to The Trenchard Museum and Recruit Training Squadron. Next to Trinity Community Centre to speak with Welfare and Community Support teams, finding out about life for families as well as single serving personnel before taking lunch in Halton House. Later in the day he visited Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training before time for personal reflection with the Station Padres before leaving for RAF High Wycombe.

Padre Dave Skillen said: “Dr Browning said he had enjoyed his visit immensely and that he felt the civilian church communities could gain so much from the experience of Chaplaincy within the RAF community.  He said he had learnt a great deal in a short period of time about the Royal Air Force about the training processes of content and delivery at Phase 1 and beyond.  He said it had been a huge privilege and an honour to visit the Station and had much to take away and reflect upon.”

Photos of the day. Crown Copyright
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