Pastoral Visits

Bishop Paul visits personnel based in Cyprus

April 2019

 

From 1st to 5th April 2019 Bishop Paul and Fr Michael Fava, Deputy Chaplain General (Army), visited British Armed Forces personnel. The purpose of his visit was to give him an understanding of the pastoral, spiritual and welfare care available to all serving personnel who depend on chaplaincy for support. During the visit the Bishop had the joy, along with the RAF Akrotiri church community, of celebrating an adult Confirmation which was followed by a wonderful community celebration. A special word of thanks goes to the 903EAW chefs for a fabulous curry! Bishop Paul met all British Forces Chaplains who are based on Island full-time or who are on operational deployment. He enjoyed the great hospitality of the Commander British Forces, and his Leadership team.  84 Squadron, flying the Griffin Helicopter, provide Search & Rescue support on Island. Bishop Paul and Fr Michael joined the crew on a training flight around the coast. This was a fascinating experience and one they gave Bishop Paul a real insight into the importance of SAR. Visiting 903EAW, which is based at RAF Akrotiri, and supports operations in the Middle East, the Bishop got to understand something of the real time effort of the RAF in support of Op. SHADER. Leaving Cyprus Bishop Paul said, “my time on Island had been fascinating and one that has given me much to reflect upon. I am further convinced of the needs for Chaplains to be at work in support of those on deployment or those based away from close family.”

Bishop Paul Visits RAF Odiham

 

On Thursday 5th December 2019 Bishop Paul visited RAF Odiham, Hampshire, home for the Chinook Force. The visit provided the Bishop with the opportunity to meet Station personnel working hard to deliver high demand operational output. This included spending time with pilots and engineers, suppliers and caterers, the dog section and the Air Traffic Control tower. Those concerned with ensuring high levels of welfare and pastoral support, including the station chaplaincy, were able to give Bishop Paul an excellent insight into the support available across the RAF Odiham community. Bishop Paul said, “I had a fabulous day at RAF Odiham getting to know more about the demands of service life and the support available. I am truly inspired by the professionalism of the Force, and the sacrifices of all involved. The training flight experience was obviously a highlight!”

 

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