The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) is a missionary organisation that provides the service personnel of the British Army and Royal Air Force with a practical and constant experience of the Christian Faith, through living and working alongside them.
With the support of our funding, SASRA will train and deploy four new Scripture Readers to make a positive impact: Mike Blackstock, Josh Fortune, Jacinta Lyons and Scott Witherick.
The current geopolitical climate and the changing nature of military operations has made the mission of SASRA ever more important and relevant. This is recognised across the military, with Scripture Readers playing an important role in the spiritual welfare of the service personnel, and an increasing demand from both Army and RAF Chaplaincy for more Scripture Readers.
Army Scripture Reader (ASR), Lee McDade, said: “We are running an Alpha course at the Military Corrective Training Centre; one guy realises his life needs to change and asks how to become a Christian.”
ASR, Steve Curley, said: “After giving out copies of the New Testament and Psalms, one solider came back to me with his completely highlighted, excited about what he was discovering.”
The impact of SASRA’s work
SASRA Scripture Readers are all military veterans who live alongside service personnel as an integral part of the military community. Having presence ‘behind the wire’ but also being independent of the military chain of commands, gives the readers a platform to speak freely to the troops, listen to their concerns, pray for them, and share their faith. Having a Scripture Reader embedded in the unit welfare team has a profound influence on the spiritual welfare of forces personnel who face a demanding work life, complex family situations and extreme isolation. The call from within the military for more Scripture Readers is evidence of the importance and impact of the work.
Paul Playford, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “With the current crisis happening in Eastern Europe, British Forces will likely be feeling a mixture of emotions. We’re delighted to help fund the four new Scripture Readers who will not only support their spiritual wellbeing, but will offer a listening ear for service personnel at a crucial time.”