The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Revd Justin Welby joined with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Anna Soubry MP and the Archbishop of York, the Rt Revd John Sentamu, in signing the Armed Forces Covenant last night at Lambeth Palace in London.
Archbishop Welby praised the Armed Services and Forces’ Chaplains for their work, he said: “Signing this corporate covenant is of great importance to us in the Church of England. There are chaplains in every part of the Armed Services whom we value hugely. They are crucial to our understanding in the role of the Church.
“Whatever happens in the next few years will see great changes to the Armed Services and a significant increase in Reserve Forces. This will place a great deal of pastoral strain on clergy and chaplains who look after both regular and reserve service men and women.”
The Armed Forces Covenant is the expression of the moral obligation that the Government and the nation owe to the Armed Forces Community. The Covenant acknowledges that members of the Armed Forces sacrifice some freedoms and often face dangerous situations. It recognises that families play a vital role in supporting the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces.
Minister Anna Soubry MP added: “Those who serve in a faith capacity give incredible support to the lives of our Armed Forces personnel, especially in the worst moments of service – we thank you for the important role you play.”