Cathedral offers support to ex-service personnel
A new “drop in” meeting point for former British service personnel and their families has been launched at Peterborough Cathedral. The sessions take place on the first Tuesday of each month, from 10am until 12 noon, in a reserved room at the Cathedral coffee shop Coffee and Cookies.
The idea came about following press reports of the sermon preached by the Dean, Charles Taylor, on Remembrance Day in 2007. In it he had emphasised the necessity of demanding proper long-term care for service men and women.
“After that I was visited by a Northern Ireland veteran and his wife who had been, and still are, going through a considerable amount of trauma as a result of his experiences,” he said. “This man explained that he was able to take a respite week a couple of times a year at a Combat Stress home; but this was some distance away, and what he felt was really needed was somewhere he could go more frequently to talk with fellow veterans … soldiers don’t open up easily to outsiders.”
The launch session at the cathedral in June exceeded expectations. There were several invited guests including the Mayor of Peterborough and the Station Commander from RAF Wittering, as well as a number of ex-service families. “One thing that came across was the need for the families as well as the troops themselves to have mutual conversation and support,” said Charles Taylor.
Local representatives of the charity Combat Stress have supported the project and the city’s branch of John Lewis has helped with publicity.
Any ex-service personnel or their families are welcome to drop in. For more information contact the Cathedral Office on 01733 343342.
From the Diocese of Peterborough's Magazine Resource for July 2009