Excitement at SASRA HQ, as Colchester Placement Campaign kickstarted

William at Colchester

The week of 18th – 22nd  of May  was filled with an air of excitement and much activity at SASRA HQ, as the balloon went up for the much-anticipated Colchester Placement Campaign with ASR William Wade making a perfect landing at The Red Lion Hotel, Colchester.

The aim of the campaign was to present William to The Body of Christ within Colchester as SASRA’s newly-deployed Scripture Reader to the garrison and it was our hope that this would encourage prayer and support.  We shared with them about SASRA’s unique, privileged position which our Royal Charter provides, thus enabling us to have access into British military installations (subject to Chaplain’s recommendation and CO’s permission).

We also had a real desire to offer the Colchester Believers an opportunity by partnering with us, to fulfil the great commission to proclaim the good news of The Kingdom to all those who live within the locality, including that section of the population who were previously out of reach – we can go “behind the wire” to our armed forces and the churches of Colchester could help facilitate us through their prayer and support.

The campaign itself consisted of the two evenings, 18th & 21st May, each beginning with a scrumptious buffet supper. This was followed by introducing William, who gave his inspiring presentation to the invited audience of church leaders from the town and surrounding area.  Included among the guests were the Chaplaincy teams from 16 Air Assault Brigade and other garrison installations.

Along with William’s presentation our President, General Lord Dannatt, had kindly agreed to be our guest speaker on the 21st (which added a real sparkle to the evening) and General Roddy Porter gave an encouraging address as our guest speaker on the 18th.  Major Phil Bray of 16 Air Assault Brigade gave an excellent presentation both evenings as a serving SASRA member from the garrison. Sharing the two evenings, Our Chairman, Colonel John Lewis and Group Captain Mark Bunting, provided the closing address followed by a Q&A session. Added to this, our Executive Director Andrew Hill also shared his aspirations for the campaign as host of the proceedings.  It was our hope that these events would be a “herald” to the churches in Colchester of William’s arrival and forthcoming deployment.

To this end, the campaign has been a great success with much pledged support, promise of prayer and the formation of specific prayer groups. Fruit already harvested from the campaign has been that of wonderful generosity and encouragement, new friends and the support of many believers who were new to the ministry.   There have also been many new churches inviting us to visit and share with them more about the work of SASRA.  Along with this, we had opportunity to meet and get to know the Chaplains and for them to hear William’s vision for his deployment, by which they were all greatly encouraged. There is a great expectation of much more fruit yet to be harvested as William begins his ministry in August/September, so please watch this space.

It has been many years since SASRA has had a presence within the garrison and we are all really excited at the prospect of being able to share the gospel once again to its serving personnel. We believe that the deployment of William Wade will be a blessing to the whole town as the families of servicemen and women are also touched by the gospel message.

To read more about William and the Colchester Placement Campaign watch out for articles in the Ready magazine this autumn.

Maureen McCormack

Communications Officer

V