Moderator embarks on flying visit with Royal Air Force

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, today embarks on a virtual visit with the Royal Air Force, meeting staff, trainees and the chaplaincy team.

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair with Craig Lancaster, Church of Scotland chaplain at RAF Lossiemouth
Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair with Craig Lancaster, Church of Scotland chaplain at RAF Lossiemouth.

The three-yearly visit by the Kirk's Moderator gives the chance to meet some of the men and women who help protect the United Kingdom and to learn more about the RAF's presence across Scotland.

"I've been looking forward to this visit for some time and, of course, am very disappointed that it has to be ‘remote' and not in person," said Dr Fair.

"But that's the way it is right now so we're going to get on with it as best we can.

"Among other things I'll want to hear about how the chaplains have been supporting service men and women through this challenging year and, as always, I'll have my ears open for ideas coming from the chaplains that might prove to be helpful to the Church at large."

Royal Air Force chaplains play an integral part in the community support system that exists within the RAF.

Church of Scotland ministers serve as military chaplains in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, helping with individual welfare problems while facing the challenge of encouraging people to think about faith and its impact on everyday life. It is an important role for bringing God's love and compassion into the armed forces and maintaining the Church's presence in key areas of Scottish life.

During his video calls, Dr Fair will join in morning prayer with the chaplaincy team and meet new recruits to hear about their experiences of entering the RAF during the pandemic.

The rest of the visit today will include: a briefing with Chief of Staff Personnel, Air Vice Marshall Maria Byford; a call with the RAF stress management team on mental health and resilience provision; and overviews of both RAF Halton and RAF Lossiemouth

Dr Fair will also meet with Chaplain-in-Chief, the Venerable Air Vice Marshall John Ellis, who was promoted to the relative rank of Air Vice-Marshal and became the Chaplain-in-Chief and Archdeacon for the Royal Air Force in 2018.

If you are already ordained into one of the Church of Scotland's four recognised ministries, and are interested in joining the Royal Air Force as a chaplain, you can visit the RAF Recruitment website for more information.

If you'd like to explore your calling across the ministries, you can also get in touch with one of the Church of Scotland's recruitment team.