My friend Phil Burrows, an Anglican priest and British Army Padre with the Second Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, writes from Helmand Province in Afghanistan to tell me about a colleague in his ministry: "The children of Weeton Primary School named a bear, ‘Sgt Camopatch’ who is out on tour with me. The soldiers have taken to him like an old friend and he has already been photographed on the ranges and falling asleep during Power Point lectures. I think he will be up before the Commanding Officer on a disciplinary charge."
Here Padre Phil (left), and Sgt. Camopatch (centre) pose with Padre Robin Richardson (right), the chaplain to the First Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, prior to his returning to the UK.
Phil reports that his soldiers are in good spirits and "just get on with" whatever adversities they face. He is asking others of faith and prayer to join with him in praying for the people of Afghanistan and for the safe return of his soldiers.
"On our first Sunday Evening Communion service we prayed that God would have mercy on us and keep us safe. That he would confuse and confound all those who plot evil and who would seek to do us harm and that his guardian angels would build a hedge of protection around our bases and all who travel. We remembered our families and loved ones and we prayed for peace."
"Perhaps you would join us in doing the same."