Resources for Methodist churches
This new resource encourages Methodist people to deepen their links with the Armed Forces community. Here you will find lots of good questions for reflection, case studies sharing learning from across the Connexion, and practical suggestions to help you build up links. Whether or not you have a forces base locally, you are more than likely to have veterans and family members of service personnel living in your community.
We pray that taking time to consider this resource with others in your church will help your efforts to connect the gospel of grace to many more people. Click on the image to open the resource.
Prayer resources for those who wish to pray for Methodist Chaplains and the Armed Forces more generally:
God of all, whose commitment to the world knows no end, in this season of remembrance we turn to you our refuge and hope. We acknowledge that you are the source of all justice and peace.
Graciously draw near to us at this time to stir our thinking, deepen our reflections and shape our living.
We remember before you all who have given their lives in the service of others in war. In gratitude we honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. May their example of self-giving love be an inspiration to us all.
We hold in your presence those who continue to suffer because of war. Comfort and sustain all who bear the scars and tears of conflict. May we find the wisdom and grace to support one another in times of need.
We commend to your care His Majesty’s Armed Forces. Uphold and guide the men and women of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force as they strive to be a force for good in our world. May they be professional and effective in carrying out the tasks required of them.
We seek your peace for all people. Bless and strengthen those from every area of society who are endeavouring to bring an end to injustice, hostilities and conflict. In our peace-making, together may we find courage, resilience and hope.
These prayers are offered in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer by the Revd David Barrett, Deputy Chaplain General for the British Army
PTSD Initial Response resource
The Methodist Forces Board has produced this short guide for churches to help colleagues provide an initial response to anyone suffering from PTSD (whatever the cause) and/or their loved ones.
Whilst it has been written with the help of Methodist Armed Forces chaplains, it has a wide application, ie it is not just for military veterans; we have chosen language which intentionally reflects this. It may be particularly helpful to those who are welcoming people into church buildings, and those who interact with a) those who have concerns about changes in their loved one’s behaviour that may be linked to past trauma or b) vulnerable individuals .
Map of Methodist Districts to selected Armed Forces sites
To support Methodist colleagues to identify if there are significant Armed Forces sites in their local area, we have produced this map showing District boundaries with selected Ministry of Defence sites identified. If you identify a site close to your church and want to consider making links then please email the Secretary of the Forces Board.
Remembrance Sunday resources for the Methodist Church
Methodist Armed Forces Chaplains' experience has been drawn upon to create a resource to assist worship leaders to mark Remembrance well.
The additional content in this resource can be used selectively to supplement existing liturgies for Remembrance Sunday. Download the Remembrance Resource (Pdf).
A selection of short videos of the Chaplains are offered below for use in a Service of Remembrance.
You are free to use these videos for in-person services, or in live streamed or recorded online services.
- Revd. Tim Wilkinson recalls that there are multiple frontlines in any conflict, and of the price that is paid by the loved ones of those who have served or are serving in HM Forces – YouTube | Vimeo (download) | Vimeo with subtitles (download)
- Revd. Stewart Young talks about a time when Remembrance was relayed over a radio to soldiers on exercise over a dispersed area – YouTube | Vimeo (download) | Vimeo with subtitles (download)
- Revd. Joe Mairara shares about the significant sacrifice others have made for us to enjoy the freedoms we now experience – YouTube | Vimeo (download) | Vimeo with subtitles (download)
- Revd. Mike Hall reflects on our connection to the stories of those who have gone before us and the spirit of remembrance – YouTube | Vimeo with subtitles (download)
Remembrance videos from previous years are available further down this webpage.
Reflections from a Remembrance garden
The Revd. Bill Gates (Royal Navy Chaplain) reflects on his personal experiences in Afghanistan to provide a powerful insight into what Remembrance means to the Armed Forces community.
Service, sacrifice, freedom and peace
The Revd. Dawn Colley (RAF Chaplain) shares thoughts based around the music that we use at Remembrance time. When the Last Post and the Reveille are played they help us tune into the significance of the moment.
The Revd. Mark Noakes (Royal Navy Chaplain) connects Methodists’ recollection of John Wesley’s experience on Aldersgate Sunday with the nation’s marking of Remembrance Sunday. He notes that we can choose to mark Remembrance Sunday in order to make better choices and avoid the worst mistakes in future. Should you wish to print them out, the words of Mark’s reflection are contained in the Remembrance Resource linked above. (3 minutes 30 seconds)
Remembrance for soldiers today
The Revd. Richard Smith (Army Chaplain) brings us a reflection on what Remembrance means for soldiers today from the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery in the Netherlands (1 minute 45 seconds)
What do we pause to remember?
The Revd. Ian Brown (RAF Chaplain) reflects on how Remembrance came to mean something personal to him and why it is important that we remember those who have given everything for others. (2minutes 30 seconds; subtitled)
Working for peace
Framed as a mini-interview, the Revd. Alastair Bissell reflects on his experiences as an RAF Chaplain. He recalls how he has been involved in supporting colleagues in spiritually and pastorally significant moments, and how the military marks Remembrance. He also relates how his Great-Uncle, renowned Methodist peace campaigner, Burt Bissell, can inspire us to work for peace. (5minutes 30 seconds; subtitled)