Diocese shows commitment to Armed Forces
Bishop Christopher signs the Covenant with (left to right): Air Commodore Alan Opie from the Royal Air Force, Nigel Atkinson, Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, the Rev Ian Stevenson, Army chaplain, and Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock, Second Sea Lord
WORSHIPPERS from our diocese have shown their commitment to the Armed Forces.
Bishop Christopher signed the Armed Forces Covenant during a service of Evensong in Portsmouth Cathedral on November 28. It’s our commitment to ensure that we treat Forces personnel and their families fairly.
The Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock, also signed it, alongside the Rev Ian Stevenson, a chaplain from the Army, Air Commodore Alan Opie from the Royal Air Force, and Nigel Atkinson, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire.
The Covenant commits our parishes and C of E schools to treating serving and retired members of the Armed Forces fairly, and promoting our links with the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force wherever possible.
At the special Evensong in our cathedral, the Second Sea Lord and the Lord Lieutenant both read lessons from the Bible, before the formal signing of the Covenant.
Bishop Christopher said: “The diocese values its strong links with the Armed Forces, not least because of the substantial presence of army, air force and naval personnel in Hampshire. Many former members of the services live in the parts of the county we serve and the Isle of Wight.
“As lead Bishop for Defence, it has been a personal pleasure to support the Covenant, including initiating a debate in the House of Lords, following the last annual report on the Covenant.”
The Armed Forces Covenant was created as a way for the nation to promise to treat serving and former military personnel and their families fairly, in areas such as education, housing and healthcare. National and local government, as well as individual businesses, charities and organisations can sign up to show their support.