Doing our part to help the Armed Forces

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Chief executive, Naval Christian Fellowship

I have been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to talk to many serving in the military about what they believe about God, Jesus and the afterlife.

One thing that I find truly inspiring is that because of their role on the frontline, putting their lives on the line, they often have real respect for what Christians believe and don’t condemn us for it in the way some other people might do.

As the chief executive of the Naval Christian Fellowship (NCF), my job is to support Christians and their families in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Ministry of Defence, as they live out and share their faith.

The NCF has been going for more than 60 years, and we currently have almost 300 serving members in the UK, more than 100 abroad and more than 700 ex-service members.

Among other things, we encourage sailors and marines as they hold church services week-by-week while they are at sea.

Once a year, we like to offer our NCF members the chance to go away together for the weekend, usually at Amport House, the home of the tri-service chaplaincy.

We’ve recently returned from that conference, and had a great time. Our members are from all denominations, and because we including both serving and retired naval personnel, there were all ages represented.

Our current chairman, Commander Mark Barton shared his vision for NCF, one of our retired members gave his perspective, and a young engineer read to us from a book that details the life of Jesus from an angle that is really easy to understand.

I also shared what I would like to see, which is more Christians with the Navy, Marines and RFA becoming members of the NCF, and helping to raise our profile.

It is really hard for our young sailors and mariners to go out to sea, or to leave home for the first time, and therefore they need support from others to sustain their faith and help them to live it out.

I hope that we can do all we can to make a difference for those people and their families.

o The Naval Christian Fellowship is based in Rodney Block, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, PO1 3HH.

For more information you can visit their website at navalcf.org