The Diocese of Guildford has pledged to support the Armed Forces Community on the centenary of Armistice Day.
In a county-wide Remembrance Day service marking the end of the First World War at Guildford Cathedral on Sunday 11 November, the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, pledged on behalf of the people and parishes of the Diocese of Guildford to support to the Armed Forces Community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
Bishop Andrew and military representative Brigadier Tom Bateman OBE, Commander Headquarters 11 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East, signed the Covenant in the Cathedral’s chancel.
Under the Covenant the Diocese of Guildford will work to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.
Bishop Andrew said:
“I am delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant on the 100th anniversary of the day that the Armistice was signed. We owe a huge amount to the armed forces, not least those who live and work within our diocesan borders, and we are blessed to deploy a number of ex-forces chaplains and other personnel across the diocese, all of whom contribute hugely to our vision of a Transforming Church, Transforming Lives. The Covenant expresses our commitment to our ongoing partnership, which I pray will go from strength to strength.”
The Covenant sets out practical ways for the diocese to support personnel, reservists, veterans and military families, including sympathetic employment and recruitment practices.
Following the service at Guildford Cathedral, Brigadier Tom Bateman CBE said:
“Signing the Armed Forces Covenant today, the Diocese of Guildford acknowledges and supports the Armed Forces, their families and veterans. It is particularly appropriate on this the hundredth anniversary of Armistice day that we mark the incredible sacrifices made by past generations. However, the period of remembrance is just as emotive and relevant for the current generation of Armed Forces Personnel. Today, military personnel from within the Diocese are on operations abroad in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Brunei. The community support offered to our Armed Forces has both personal and beneficial impact.
“This Covenant signing along with the amendment to the schools admissions policy is a pledge that ensures Armed Forces families moving into the community will not be disadvantaged when applying for church schools within the diocese.
“On behalf of the military community I am extremely appreciative of this commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and look forward to cementing this relationship.”
Further information about the Armed Forces Covenant.
View the Diocese of Guildford Armed Forces Covenant (PDF)