Behind the wire

Behind the Wire: Remembrance Sunday

SASRA Scripture Readers go ‘behind the wire’ to bring the urgent gospel need to the Armed Forces. They have produced resources to help churches remember on Remembrance Sunday.

The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) is an evangelical Christian mission with a history stretching back to 1838. It employs suitably qualified and called ex-service men and women to support our serving personnel as Scripture Readers. They work behind the wire on military units to provide pastoral and spiritual support, always looking to make Christ known.

It is our privilege to support those who serve our country. We enjoy formal permission for our ministry from the British Army and the Royal Air Force and are honoured to have Her Majesty the Queen as our Patron, and Major General R J Thomson CBE DSO as our President.

Having served in the armed forces themselves, our Scripture Readers understand the needs of military personnel and are well placed to provide the support that many seek. Remembrance is a particularly poignant time as many service men and women have been affected by the death of comrades and friends.

Remembrance and Gospel Need

The armistice agreement of 11 November 1918 initiated the peace process between the allied forces and Germany. The date has been remembered each year since with a period of silence. Remembrance Sunday was introduced during World War II as a day of dedication and became the main focus of remembrance thereafter.

Today, as in the past, the men and women of the Armed Forces who serve our country go where they are told and do as they are commanded. It may be in a peacekeeping role or require the exercise of force. In conflict these individuals serve our country; they serve us. They help make our lives what they are. We live free of significant military threat, secure in the knowledge that our Armed Forces are working day and night to ensure our safety and security.

It is right that we remember them, because without them we would face a different today and a more uncertain future.

The proportion of evangelical believers in the British Military is small - significantly below the national average. These predominately young people face a real risk of injury or death, and they need a robust moral compass and the spiritual resources to be able to deal with all that they have to see and deal with in the course of their duties. Their gospel need is real and urgent, and SASRA is dedicated, with the support of churches and the Lord’s help, to meeting it.

Remembrance Sunday Resources

SASRA has produced a library of resources for churches to use in their physical or virtual Remembrance Sunday services.

These resources are designed to be adaptable to different formats and timings. For example, you can select video or audio files of a bugler playing The Last Post and Rouse with a period of silence in between, or individual videos from two Scripture Readers.

SASRA has also collaborated with Glen Scrivener of Speak Life to produce a moving and challenging short film, incorporating Glen's video 'To End All Wars' (below) with contributions from serving Scripture Readers. The video challenges viewers to consider why wars start, and ends with a clear message of hope and peace in Jesus Christ.

For those looking for ideas for service content there are suggestions for prayers, sermon illustrations, and poems available too.

You can access all the resources on our SharePoint folder. For help using these resources, please contact us via email.

SASRA recognises the need to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Our Scripture Readers work hard to bring all service men and women into the knowledge of the Prince of Peace so that, if called upon to make that sacrifice, their eternity is secured in Him.

For more information about the work of SASRA or to book a deputation (in-person or virtual) please visit our website or call 03000 301 302

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