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World News

'I will pray for no need for Armed Forces' says newly appointed Bishop to the military

by Donna Birrell

Lambeth Palace has announced that the Bishop of St Germans, Rt Rev Hugh Nelson will take over the role of Bishop to the Armed Forces.

Bishop Hugh will be formally licensed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, during a meeting of the College of Bishops in Oxford on September 20.

Bishop Hugh is taking over from the Rt Rev Tim Thornton, Bishop at Lambeth, who is retiring after four years in the post.

This role will be in addition to Bishop Hugh's work as Bishop of St Germans in the Diocese of Truro. Bishop Hugh was consecrated as Bishop of St Germans in July 2020.

Speaking to Premier, Bishop Hugh said: "One of the commitments that I make as Bishop (to the Forces) is, I will pray for two things, every single day while I'm in this post.

"One is that the day will come and come as soon as possible when there's no need for any Armed Forces, when peace breaks out and the kingdom of God fully arrives. And in the meantime, I will continue to pray every single day for our men and women who are out there on the frontline trying to keep peace and justice in the name of this country. So for both of those things, for peace to break out and in the meantime, for those who are on the frontlines."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "I am very pleased indeed that Hugh has agreed to take on this essential ministry. The work of military chaplains is crucial and is widely recognised as such within the Armed Forces. They need our support and prayers, led by the Bishop to the Forces. Military personnel are confronted daily with deep and vital questions about being human, our relationships, our values and morals. There are no tidy answers to these, but chaplains can offer compassion - being alongside and resolutely with those asking these questions, and those experiencing pain or grief - and they can offer hope. Indeed, chaplains to the Forces embody something of the love of Jesus Christ, offered in every place and to all people. I know that Hugh will ensure he gets to know these chaplains and will work alongside them, as well as being a representative for the church in wider issues relating to the Forces."

Bishop Tim said: "I have found it a real privilege working with the Chaplains and getting to know something of their ministry and work and that of the wider world of the armed services. I am delighted that Hugh is taking over and pray for him as he gets to know this aspect of church life and know that he will be very well supported by the three Archdeacons in all he does."

Bishop Hugh will embark on his new position with a number of visits to local military bases in the coming months.


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