The role of a padre serving with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD) is to minister to soldiers and their families, to give them pastoral, spiritual and moral support. The padres are commissioned as chaplains but wear officers’ rank, leaders but without command. They are sent wherever soldiers are sent, and are moved individually between units every two to three years.
The Reverend Alan Steele MBE is in his early fifties and is the senior padre of 16 Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester. The interview is in his book-lined Army quarter where his two teenage children serve us tea and ginger biscuits.
Steele had his first tour of duty to Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment (2 Para) in 2001/2002.
Some figures to consider (click on this link for further information): Issued By: Defence Statistics (Health), Ministry of Defence
“During the overall time period 7 October 2001 to 30 September 2013:
a. 2009/10 recorded the highest number of UK Service personnel who sustained a partial or complete limb amputation as a result of injuries in Afghanistan with 24 amputees.
b. Financial year 2010/11 recorded the highest number of UK Service personnel who sustained a partial or complete limb amputation as a result of injuries in Afghanistan with 75 amputees.” Continue reading
(Published in 2012)
The Migrants’ Resource Centre in London works to improve the lives of immigrants in the United Kingdom. They have helped me, and many others, to learn new skills, and new confidence. I cannot thank them enough.
In the clip below Clive Handy articulates some of the cultural confusion felt by a certain sector of the British population that finds itself caught up in change. It is worth noting that 5 million UK nationals are now living abroad.
(With thanks to Rod Aguirre, Isabel Cortes and the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC) for their help with the production of the video.)
The volcano was ‘incredible’ but the sermon was ‘rubbish’ – the sermon, given at sea, ten miles south of Las Palmas, was the first the Venerable Adrian Harbidge ever gave.
Now in his mid-sixties, and some forty years on from his first sermon, he and his wife are the occupants of The Rectory in Seale, Surrey.