The Methodist Church of Britain today signed the Armed Forces Covenant pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the whole Armed Forces community including regulars, reserves, veterans, and their families.
The Church, which brings together 4,650 congregations across the country, already plays a significant role in the spiritual well-being of many Armed Forces personnel providing 30 tri-Service Chaplains as well as running specific support projects at several military locations.
Alongside publicly recognising the value of the Armed Forces community, in signing the Covenant the Church makes a number of specific commitments including:
· recruiting veterans young and old with a tailored pathway to employment
· to support employees in the Reserves and help to accommodate their training and deployment
· facilitating the transition to and from civilian and military ministry for Armed Forces Chaplains
· a favourable approach to leave and flexible working for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment
· ensuring, where possible, buildings and facilities have good access for disabled veterans
· establishing a dedicated Methodist Church webpage to inform the Church ministry of the specific needs of the Armed Forces community
· recognising and remembering the sacrifice of others including the availability of liturgical material for use throughout the Methodist Church
The Armed Forces Covenant was signed at Methodist Church House by the President and Secretary of the Methodist Conference, The Reverend Loraine Mellor and The Reverend Canon Gareth Powell.
Reverend Mellor said
“Our Armed Forces undertake an often difficult and even dangerous job. The impact of their unique role on the service personnel and their families, while they serve and afterwards, cannot be underestimated. I am delighted that the Methodist Church is signing the Military Covenant to support the Armed Forces community.”
On behalf of the Armed Forces the Covenant was signed by The Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) Jonathan Chaffey, Chaplain-in-Chief RAF and Commodore David Elford, Naval Commander Regional Forces.
Commodore Elford said:
“The Methodist Church of Britain already plays a substantial role in supporting the Armed Forces community through the great work of its Chaplains across all three Services.
“By signing the Armed Forces Covenant the Church makes a very public statement that it values the work of the Armed Forces and offers its compassion, care and love to support them in the particular circumstances that they, veterans, and their families find themselves in.”
The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment from the nation, enshrined in law, that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.
Over 1,500 businesses and organisations across the UK have already signed, making practical pledges that have made a difference across the Armed Forces community.