Bishop sees flock from the sky

(L-R) Rt Rev Martin Warner, Bishop of Whitby, Rev. Nicky Carnall, St Oswald, Sowerby, Rev. Graham Bowkett, St Lawrence, Carlton Miniott, Rev. Canon Richard Rowling, St Mary, Thirsk, and the pilot.
(L-R) Rt Rev Martin Warner, Bishop of Whitby, Rev. Nicky Carnall, St Oswald, Sowerby, Rev. Graham Bowkett, St Lawrence, Carlton Miniott, Rev. Canon Richard Rowling, St Mary, Thirsk, and the pilot.

THE Bishop of Whitby and other members of the county’s clergy took to the skies thanks to the 9th Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Dishforth Airfield near Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

The Right Reverend Martin Warner, led the group of clergymen and women into the Yorkshire skies at the invitation of the commanding officer of 9 Regt AAC, Lt Col Mike Keating.

During the flight, in one of the regiment’s Lynx helicopters, the group were flown over their respective parishes and surrounding areas.

The Rt Revd Martin Warner said: “It was a great privilege to be flown round my patch, the Archdeaconry of Cleveland, by the Army Air Corps.

“We learnt a great deal about what’s on the ground, but also about the professionalism and skill of the Army and the seriousness of its international task of facing conflict and death on our behalf”.

To enable the civilian clergy to relate better with the soldiers, they held a discussion highlighting the stresses and strains the servicemen and women experience, whether on operations in Afghanistan or serving closer to home.

The regiment wished to show its gratitude for the vital role the clergymen and women have given over the years to the regiment and wider military community.

The regiment’s second in command, Major Robin Melling said: “Our local clergy provide significant support to the regiment and we consider it essential that they have a sound understanding of our operating procedures”.

The group had an excellent and enjoyable day, but also touched upon some of the more serious issues that they deal with on a regular basis.

This went a long way to further strengthen the regiment’s relationship with the wider community.