The Salvation Army Raises the Bar in Legal World First

Australia — The Salvation Army in Australia has launched a high-end commercial law firm to raise money for a humanitarian service that provides legal advice and representation to people in need. In a world first for The Salvation Army, Salvos Legal has a unique business model that allows it to operate independently of donations and is the only law firm of its type in the country.

Territorial Commander for Australia Eastern Commissioner James Condon says, ‘It’s the most exciting, innovative social service initiative to be launched in the 131 years of our existence in Australia. I am delighted to see William Booth’s vision of a “Poor Man’s Lawyer”, as recorded in his book In Darkest England and the Way Out, becoming a reality.’

‘Salvos Legal’s commercial operations run parallel to its social services arm, with the profits from property and transactional services funding the employment of specialist lawyers who offer free representation to society’s most disadvantaged,’ says Salvation Army employee and managing partner of Salvos Legal, Luke Geary.

‘Humanitarian services offered include criminal law, family and children’s law, welfare, debt, housing and refugee and immigration law. Currently five firms are operational in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) at Surry Hills, Miranda, Auburn, Campsie and Parramatta, with another at Canterbury opening soon.

‘We encourage companies or individuals in Australia looking for first class legal services at a market competitive rate to consider Salvos Legal, knowing that the fees paid are used to help those less fortunate, in times of crisis,’ said Mr. Geary.

The NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Greg Smith, officially launched the new service at a ceremony at the state’s parliament house.

Salvos Legal is a program of The Salvation Army Eastern Australia Territory within the territorial business administration team.

For more information on Salvos Legal services, log on to salvoslegal.org.au

Chief of the STaff and Commissioner Sue Swanson Lead Sweden and Latvia Territorial Congress

Sweden – The Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Barry C. Swanson) comes from Chicago, USA, but he clearly felt at home when he and Commissioner Sue Swanson (World President, Women’s Ministries) led congress meetings in Sweden. This was the Swansons’ third visit to the Sweden and Latvia Territory but the Chief demonstrated deeper links when, during the opening meeting, he revealed that his grandparents had been born in Sweden. He even told the congregation the names of the Swedish towns and villages where his ancestors had been born. The foundation of double unity, in Spirit and in ancestry, was laid.

Later in the meeting – following the Chief’s Bible message – many people responded to the opportunity to pray at the mercy seat as Riga Staff Songsters sang.

Commissioner Sue Swanson gave an encouraging Bible message at the evening praise and worship meeting.

On Saturday afternoon the public received the gospel and uplifting music at an open-air meeting in Stockholm’s Vasa Park. The Chief and Commissioner Sue Swanson then led the march to Immanuel Church where the congress was held.

The focus of the afternoon meeting was the commissioning and ordination of two Salvation Army officers. Territorial Commander Commissioner Marie Willermark led the commissioning, with the Chief bringing a Bible message to which people again willingly responded.

The visiting leaders had the opportunity to enjoy God-honoring music during the Saturday evening festival. This time of sharing included vocal, brass and piano solos.

The two Sunday meetings featured encouraging and challenging testimonies. Sarah Ilsters, leader of Riga 1 Corps in Latvia, shared her understanding of responding daily to God’s calling. Cadet Marie Blomberg testified about her experience of planting a corps.

In the final meeting Candidate Nicolaj Vollburg described how God had guided him – and his family – to The Salvation Army and then to preach God’s message of salvation as an officer. Corps leader Sofia Wastesson, a professor of French literature, shared how she responded to the opportunity of taking part-time responsibility for her home corps. She expressed how she feels fulfilled both intellectually and spiritually in being who she is for God.

Commissioner Sue Swanson gave the final Bible message. The challenge and encouragement were clear – go and share God’s hope and comfort with people who are lost.

God poured his encouragement, joy and holiness over Salvationists and friends of all ages who took part in the congress.

For images, please utilize the following link: http://bit.ly/nLRw7u

Report by Commissioner Marie Willermark
Territorial Commander

Salvationists in Norway Join Public Demonstrations of Love and Unity

Oslo, Norway – Salvationists in Norway have been a comforting presence in the public displays of remembrance for all affected by the bomb and gun attacks that killed at least 76 people on Friday, July 22nd. The Salvation Army’s leadership in Norway asked that, where possible, Salvationists should wear uniform or items of clothing featuring a Salvation Army logo so that members of the public can identify them as people who can offer prayer and words of comfort.

Members of The Salvation Army joined the ‘Rose March’ in Oslo and other cities. The gathering in Oslo, attended by more than 150,000 people, was a time of shared remembrance and grief, with appeals being given for people to show love and to stand together in the face of hurt. Salvation Army officers and soldiers also joined the crowd in front of Oslo University where the royal family, prime minister and many others held a minute’s silence on Monday 25 July.

Colonel Jan Peder Fosen (Chief Secretary, Norway, Iceland and The Faeroes Territory) writes: “Salvationists in their uniforms and others with a Salvation Army logo on have had a great response from people talking to them on the street. We have received phone calls at territorial headquarters from people who simply want to talk over some of the things that have happened. Officers on the building are handling these calls.”

The territorial youth department has sent a letter of condolence to the Labour Party’s youth organization, many members of which were killed in the atrocities.

The colonel says that so far no Salvationists are known to have been killed. There are, however, victims who have known links to Salvation Army corps (churches). Corps officers are counseling people who have lost friends or family members.

One of the most moving stories reported by the colonel comes from The Salvation Army’s harbor light rehabilitation work. He says that some of the men being treated through the program made donations which they put together to buy flowers to place with the ‘ocean’ of tributes outside Oslo Cathedral. He says: ‘They wanted also to show their respect.’

More than 200 children and leaders gathered at a five-day Salvation Army camp outside Oslo on Sunday, to take part in activities including dance, music, singing and drama. A Salvation Army counselor has been available at the camp and gave counseling to all the leaders on Sunday.

Colonel Fosen says: ‘It was most moving when many of these 6 to 13-year-old children wrote in their own words prayers about the tragedy and placed them on a wall. [There were] beautiful words about love and sorrow.’

He concludes by saying that Salvationists and friends in Norway are ‘truly grateful’ for the ‘many emails, letters and words of prayer during these days from The Salvation Army around the world.’

For pictures please utilize the following link: http://bit.ly/p2xMDQ

Author: International News

The Salvation Army in Norway Provides Comfort and Support Following Explosion and Shooting

Oslo, Norway – Salvation Army officers in Oslo have coordinated a response to meet emotional and spiritual needs following the bomb blast in the capital on Friday July 22nd and the subsequent shooting incident on the island of Utøya. More than 90 people are known to have died in the two attacks, with hundreds more injured or otherwise affected.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to those who have lost family members and friends, and we will also continue in prayer for those who have been injured,” said the head of The Salvation Army in Norway, Territorial Commander Clive Adams. Letters of condolence have been sent to His Majesty King Harald and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters for Norway is in close proximity to the buildings most affected by the explosion, but no injuries were sustained by staff and the building was undamaged. In cooperation with the police, the headquarters was opened up to the local community as a refuge before the whole central business area was evacuated at 6:15pm.

On Saturday 23 July, Colonel Jan Peder Fosen (Chief Secretary for Norway) prayed with other church leaders in Oslo Cathedral before meeting with Salvation Army leaders to discuss the ongoing response.

Sunday will be a time of prayer and reflection for the people of Norway and Salvationists have been asked – by email and the web – to wear their uniforms in order to provide a visible presence on the streets. As they come to terms with what has happened, many members of the community want to talk about their experiences with someone they can trust. Messages of appreciation have already been contributed to The Salvation Army’s Norwegian Facebook page, such as “Thank you for opening the doors … it is not easy to be alone now.”

In addition, Salvation Army centers in and around Oslo will be specifically opened for prayer and a special service will be held at The Salvation Army’s Oslo Templet (church), attended by senior Salvation Army leaders.

Author: International News

The Salvation Army in Norway Provides Comfort and Support Following Explosion and Shooting

Oslo, Norway – Salvation Army officers in Oslo have coordinated a response to meet emotional and spiritual needs following the bomb blast in the capital on Friday July 22nd and the subsequent shooting incident on the island of Utøya. More than 90 people are known to have died in the two attacks, with hundreds more injured or otherwise affected.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to those who have lost family members and friends, and we will also continue in prayer for those who have been injured,” said the head of The Salvation Army in Norway, Territorial Commander Clive Adams. Letters of condolence have been sent to His Majesty King Harald and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

The Salvation Army’s territorial headquarters for Norway is in close proximity to the buildings most affected by the explosion, but no injuries were sustained by staff and the building was undamaged. In cooperation with the police, the headquarters was opened up to the local community as a refuge before the whole central business area was evacuated at 6:15pm.

On Saturday 23 July, Colonel Jan Peder Fosen (Chief Secretary for Norway) prayed with other church leaders in Oslo Cathedral before meeting with Salvation Army leaders to discuss the ongoing response.

Sunday will be a time of prayer and reflection for the people of Norway and Salvationists have been asked – by email and the web – to wear their uniforms in order to provide a visible presence on the streets. As they come to terms with what has happened, many members of the community want to talk about their experiences with someone they can trust. Messages of appreciation have already been contributed to The Salvation Army’s Norwegian Facebook page, such as “Thank you for opening the doors … it is not easy to be alone now.”

In addition, Salvation Army centers in and around Oslo will be specifically opened for prayer and a special service will be held at The Salvation Army’s Oslo Templet (church), attended by senior Salvation Army leaders.

The Salvation Army Provides Water to Drought-Hit Communities in Kenya

KENYA — As the drought crisis in East Africa causes worldwide concern, The Salvation Army is responding to the situation using its local knowledge and personnel to provide immediate relief. There is currently no Salvation Army work in Somalia or Ethiopia so the focus for now is on northern Kenya.

Assessments carried out by The Salvation Army’s Kenya West Territory and government sources have shown that the nomadic people of the Turkana region of northern Kenya face widespread starvation. Three rainfall seasons have failed, livestock has died, milk production has dropped and food stocks are depleted.

Water is scarce, with people in the region having to travel on average more than three kilometers to access water. Schools are closing because they lack funds to pay food and water bills.

The Salvation Army is initially addressing the water situation, using water tanks (known as bowsers) pulled by tractors. The tractors and bowsers were bought in 2005 as part of a previous International Emergency Services project. Water will be collected from boreholes and large water tanks on Salvation Army properties and taken to communities and schools in Turkana.

Funding of almost $50,000 provided through International Headquarters will cover fuel and maintenance costs for two tractors for six months, as well as paying staff costs for drivers and assistants. Some of the funds will improve storage facilities of schools and villages. The project’s implementation follows consultation with the Kenyan Government, local officials, the Red Cross and Oxfam.

The scheme will provide around 5,000 villagers and 2,000 schoolchildren with clean, safe water. This will have further benefits of decreasing the distance travelled to fetch water and reducing the risk of women being abused as they seek water in isolated locations.

The Salvation Army’s two Kenya territories are continuing to monitor the situation in the north of the country. Representatives of The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services are preparing to head to Kenya to help with further assessments and preparations.

Report from International Emergency Services

Donations to the Africa Disaster Fund at International Headquarters can be made online at www.salvationarmy.org.

General Bond Installs New Territorial Leaders for Canada and Bermuda

London, England – The installation by General Linda Bond of Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle as territorial leaders of The Salvation Army’s Canada and Bermuda Territory was something of a homecoming for Canadian officers serving internationally. The event, held in Jackson’s Point Conference Centre, a Salvation Army facility in Ontario, Canada, was General Bond’s first official visit to her home territory since taking office as international leader of The Salvation Army in April 2011. Fellow-Canadians Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle were returning as territorial leaders after serving in the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory and in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland.

Also returning from overseas and in attendance were Colonels Robert and Marguerite Ward, territorial leaders in Pakistan, Captains Paul and Pedrinah Thistle, currently serving at Howard Hospital in Zimbabwe, and Majors Ronald and Donna Millar, who recently concluded their service in the Caribbean.

In his words of introduction, Chief Secretary Colonel Floyd Tidd said, “Commissioners Peddle return as God’s chosen leaders for our territory. We welcome them home as people who are known to love God deeply, who embrace fully the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army and who engage easily with people. They seek not only to lead like Jesus, but also to empower other leaders to lead like Jesus.”

During the installation ceremony General Bond emphasized the importance of godly leaders. “When God stops providing the Army with leaders, it means we are finished. But the very fact that he keeps calling and providing people means that he has a plan and a purpose for The Salvation Army.”

“It is with joy and confidence that I commend to you your new territorial leaders,” said General Bond to the hundreds of Salvationists in attendance. “I call upon all Salvationists to receive your new leaders with Christian love and joyful expectation. Please support them in prayer and in dedicated service.”

In her challenge to Commissioners Peddle, the General urged them to model spirit-filled leadership. “Serve with compassion and integrity,” she said. “Teach the Word and live it out with humility and grace. You are called to be shepherds of the flock, fervent evangelists and visionary leaders. Under your leadership, we pray that the Kingdom of God will advance as you lead the Army in Canada and Bermuda to be faithful to the mission the Lord has given it.”

As Commissioners Peddle knelt at the mercy seat the General invited the congregation to pray for them. During this solemn moment, Captain Krista Andrews and Stephanie Forystek – the daughters of the territorial leaders – ministered through the song ‘I’m in His Hands.’

Following the installation ceremony, representative speakers offered words of welcome. Benjamin White, one of the newest junior soldiers in the territory, spoke on behalf of children and young people. Candidate Ricaurte Velasque spoke for the soldiers, and encouraged the territorial leaders to seek greater representation in the Army from the many cultures found in Canada. Lieutenant Carolyn Reid pledged loyalty on behalf of the officers and asked the Peddles to “take time to nourish your souls as you are our spiritual leaders.”

In her response, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle said that it was a great gift to return home to family and friends. With her 89-year-old mother-in-law in attendance, she also thanked their parents for raising them in godly homes.

“We are humbled and overwhelmed,” she said. “But yet, we are experiencing a deep peace about our new responsibilities. We have come into these new roles literally on our knees, seeking God’s wisdom, guidance, leading and direction. Our prayer is that God will give us incredible courage, and will daily empower us to be people who will lead with integrity, vision, competence and passion.”

In his message, Commissioner Brian Peddle challenged Salvationists to focus on purpose and passion. “We are redeemed for a reason. And I want you to be committed with me to our cause,” he said. “The sum total of our mission is leading those who do not know Jesus to him.”

Referencing the worldwide work of the Movement, and the responsibilities of the General, Commissioner Peddle said that the territory needs to uphold the international Army in prayer and offer practical support through human resources and financial contributions.

“The world and the communities where we live need Salvationists whose hearts are captured and committed to being ambassadors of Christ and his gospel,” he said. “We need agents of redemption who will live in a way that people will know that God is in that person … We need to make this invisible God visible to those people who have yet to see him.”

Following a time of reflection and response, General Bond challenged the congregation never to be ashamed to be known as The Salvation Army. “The world needs the “salvation” in our name,” she said. “The Lord is going to bring revival to The Salvation Army. And the mark of this revival will be the restoration of our passion for the lost. We will have a soul-saving passion even greater than the days when we were raised up.”

The evening concluded with a sung benediction by the Ontario Central East Divisional Youth Chorus. The Canadian Staff Band also provided musical selections throughout the installation service.
Report by John McAlister.

For pictures please visit: http://bit.ly/owNspy.

The Salvation Army Pledges $6 Million for Long-Term Tornado Recovery—Financial Aid, Casework & Community Projects Planned for Storm Ravaged South

Atlanta, GA –In April and May of 2011 tornadoes, floods, and other severe weather tore across the southern United States leaving many dead and many more homeless and hungry. In service of the survivors, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team provided immediate material, emotional, and spiritual care to thousands. As the disaster operation transitions from response into long-term recovery, The Salvation Army will continue to support relief efforts. Over the next 12 months, the Army will utilize approximately $6 million to help alleviate ongoing hardships faced by the individuals and families who lost so much.

Recovery funding will be allocated among the four (4) Salvation Army Divisions most affected by the severe storms and employed in communities in eight (8) states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Depending on local needs, funds will be utilized as direct financial assistance for survivors, to fund additional response staff positions, and for signature community projects to be determined by local community leaders and Salvation Army personnel.

“Through the provision of financial assistance, casework, and long-term community building, The Salvation Army will ensure that survivors have the tools necessary to restore their lives,” said Jeff Jellets, The Salvation Army’s Southern Territorial Disaster Coordinator. “The Salvation Army has served in the United States for more than 130 years. We were here before the storms and we will be here long after meeting needs in the local community.”

The four (4) Salvation Army divisions included in this plan are:

ALM Division (Serving Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi)
• Total Allocation: $3.25 Million

• $2.25 million for direct disaster recovery assistance

• $1 million for community projects

KTN Division (Serving Kentucky, Tennessee & Northwest Georgia)

• Total Allocation: $1.5 Million

• $1 million for direct disaster recovery assistance

• $500,000 for community projects

GEO Division (Serving Georgia)

• Total Allocation: $1 Million
• $750,000 for direct disaster recovery assistance

• $250,000 for community projects

AOK Division (Serving Arkansas & Oklahoma)

• Total Allocation: $250,000

• $250,000 for direct disaster recovery assistance

As of July 5, 2011, The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory had raised approximately $11 million dollars for April and May tornado, flood, and severe storm relief. Following the storms, The Salvation Army committed $3 million to response efforts and has now allocated an additional $6 million to long-term recovery efforts over the next 12 months. As communities rebuild and survivors’ needs change, The Salvation Army will adjust its long-term recovery plan and allocate all remaining funds and any additional April and May 2011 storm relief funds received to help ensure that its services continue to meet people’s greatest needs.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services program please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

For inquiries regarding the long-term recovery plan, please contact the appropriate party below.

Media Contacts:

ALM Division (Serving Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi)
Mark Jones
Divisional Public Relations Director

Office: 601-961-7709
Cellular: 601-278-2100

Mark_Jones@uss.salvationarmy.org

KTN Division (Serving Kentucky, Tennessee & Northwest Georgia)

Kimberly George
Divisional PIO/Director of Marketing and Development

Chattanooga, TN Area Command

Office: 423-756-1023
Cellular: 423-503-1801

Kimberly_George@uss.salvationarmy.org

GEO Division (Serving Georgia)

Valerie Johnson
Divisional Director of Public Relations

Office: 678-418-4671
Cellular: 678-735-0480

Valerie_Johnson@uss.salvationarmy.org

AOK Division (Serving Arkansas & Oklahoma)
Cindy Fuller
Divisional Marketing and Public Relations Director

Office: 405-254-1156
Cellular: 405-830-6549

Cindy_Fuller@uss.salvationarmy.org

Salvation Army Volunteers Bringing Food, Supplies and Hope Door-to-Door—Minot neighborhoods begin cleanup with the help of Salvation Army supplies

Minot, North Dakota — Within an hour of flood survivors being let back into their homes to begin cleaning, Salvation Army volunteers had already given out 42 buckets of cleanup supplies and 100 sandwiches.

“People are upbeat,” said David Bussard, Salvation Army mobile kitchen volunteer. “They are greeting us with hugs and handshakes. They are really glad to know there are people here to help them.”

Bussard and his crew make daily trips into neighborhoods on the edge of the evacuation zones. Families are happy to be back in their homes but are disheartened to see the devastation left by river water and backed-up sewage.

Along with food and cleaning supplies, residents will always find a listening ear and calm understanding from Salvation Army volunteers. They have been trained to know what to do, what to say, and what not to say.

“Emotions are raw and very close to the surface,” said Major Donald Kincaid, Minot Salvation Army commander. “It’s important for us to listen to people as they express the pain and frustration they are feeling.”

Along with listening, The Salvation Army offers prayer at a time when people may be asking, “Why me?” Majors Donald and Jane Kincaid are ordained ministers for The Salvation Army and offer prayer for people confused and angry about their crisis. An additional prayer team from Minnesota recently arrived – Majors Manuel and Joann Madrid. They are a mobile prayer team, traveling with the volunteers who are providing food and supplies where needed.

The Salvation Army will continue to drive through neighborhoods as cleanup activities heat up. Residents who would like to pick up their own free cleanup supplies can come to the corner of 4th St. and Western Ave. Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monetary donations:

• Donate $10 by texting “MINOT” to 80888 and replying “yes” to the confirmation text. A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your cell phone bill. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.

• Donate online below or by calling 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or by mailing a check to The Salvation Army, 315 Western Ave., Minot, ND 58701. Be sure to designate your donation “Minot Flood.”

• Donate To Minot Flood Relief Here

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

Contact:

Annette Bauer

PR Director

The Salvation Army Northern DHQ

2445 Prior Ave, Roseville, MN 55113
651.746.3500 office 651.238.8210 cell

Family, Friends and Salvationists Give Thanks for Life and Influence of Commissioner Helen Clifton

London, England – The service of thanksgiving for Commissioner Helen Clifton, held in the assembly hall at William Booth College, London, UK, was a fitting tribute to a woman of God. Countless examples were given of how she did so much for others throughout her Salvation Army officership, from early days as a corps officer through to her last appointment as World President of Women’s Ministries, supporting her husband, General Shaw Clifton (now retired). The congregation of family, friends and Salvationists filled the newly refurbished assembly hall.

Following a presentation showing snapshots of the commissioner’s life, and the entry of The Salvation Army flag adorned with white ribbons, the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Barry C. Swanson) took the lead of the meeting, saying: “We meet to remember the life and influence of Commissioner Helen Clifton. We are not the same for having met her.”

The Chief acknowledged the presence of General John Larsson (Retired), former world presidents of women’s ministries Commissioner Freda Larsson and Commissioner Gisèle Gowans, and former Chief of the Staff Commissioner Robin Dunster. He then led the large congregation in a song before Captain Lynne Clifton (Commissioner Clifton’s daughter-in-law) and Cadet Naomi Shakespeare (soon to be daughter-in-law) prayed.

“Thank you for Commissioner Helen’s life of dedicated service,” prayed Captain Clifton. “Thank you that she’s safe and at peace in your everlasting arms.” Cadet Shakespeare gave thanks that Commissioner Helen lived all of her life for God, and asked that he would teach all present to do the same.

Captain Marcus Collings (son-in-law) read from Hebrews 13 and Bromley Temple Songsters sang ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ before Commissioner Sue Swanson (World President of Women’s Ministries) read a tribute from General Linda Bond. The General said that all her life Commissioner Helen Clifton had responded to God’s call. “We thank God for her beautiful, powerful life,” wrote the General. “She was a catalyst for change, a woman of prayer.”

Commissioner Helen’s three children each paid his or her own tribute. Captain Matt Clifton drew comparisons between his mother and ‘Solomon’s perfect woman’ of Proverbs 31. He told how, despite her busy schedule, she visited her sick grandson in hospital every day and would sometimes arrive at their home – 60 miles from London – to do their ironing before heading into the office. She empowered others, for example providing women in Pakistan with English language lessons, the captain said, and taught him much about marriage in the way she and his father cared for each other.

Captain Jenny Collings spoke of her mother’s wisdom, beauty and gentle yet determined nature. “She always encouraged me to be myself and empowered me to find my wings.” However, the greatest impact, she said, was seeing her mother caring for others in practical ways while also caring for her own family.

“I don’t understand why this [the commissioner being promoted to Glory] has happened,” she continued, “but because of the timing many more people are observing her life – and God has been glorified. What an adventure she had and is still living … We haven’t lost her; we know where she is.”

Cadet John Clifton said that over the next few weeks his mother will continue to inspire him as some of the most important occasions of his life take place. The following day he would sign his officer’s covenant, then on the weekend he would be commissioned as a Salvation Army officer, and two weeks later he would be married.

As an officer, he said, he will remember her involvement in people’s lives, her successful quiet protest against ‘adult’ advertising in the local newspaper and her actions in Jesus’ name for the liberation of the oppressed. In his first corps appointment he will remember how she adapted to every situation, whether that meant taking an interest in local sport in the UK or trying to learn the Urdu language in Pakistan. When he marries he will remember her example as a spouse and a parent, and how his parents “loved each other even when things were tough.”

“She will be missed but she will provide inspiration,” he concluded. “We hope you are inspired by her story, as we are.”

Enfield Citadel Band played ‘Song of the Eternal’ before Commissioner Sue Swanson brought verses from Revelation and the Chief of the Staff gave the Bible message. Not only had a classic girl-meets-boy love story been remembered during the service, he told the congregation, but another love story as well – that of God’s deep love for humankind. “No matter how we feel, we are never alone,” said the Chief. “God has not abandoned us.”

He concluded with a challenge for those present to think about what they are doing with the life God has given them: “Perfection has come for Commissioner Helen; the divine love story is complete for her … We celebrate eternal life for her.”

Major Brian Slinn (corps officer, Bromley, where the Cliftons were soldiers) offered prayer and a benediction, asking God that the memories of Commissioner Helen Clifton would remain precious and that her example would encourage others to follow him the way she did.

Earlier in the day the chapel at Beckenham Crematorium was full to overflowing with people wishing to pay their respects to Commissioner Clifton. Officers, Salvationists and friends representing Salvation Army work all over the world united in their deep appreciation of the commissioner’s life and influence.

Majors Brian and Liv Slinn offered prayers and readings, thanking God for the selfless ministry of the commissioner and asking him to strengthen and support her loved ones. Psalms 23 and 24 were shared; pointing to the love and sovereignty of the Heavenly Father whom Commissioner Helen Clifton knew and served over many decades.

Report by Major Leanne Ruthven with contribution from Major Stephen Poxon