Air Training Corps squadron appoints new padre

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An air cadet squadron has appointed a new padre having been without none for several years.

Church leader Major Liz Hancock has volunteered to take on the role with 1507 (Chester-le-Street) Squadron.

A leader with the Salvation Army Church, she accepted the challenge following an invitation from the Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Mathew Burton RAF VR(T).

She was officially inducted into the role at a ceremony in the squadron headquarters, where she was presented with her certificate of appointment and padre’s badge by the Wing Padre, Paul Harper.

As squadron padre, Major Hancock is responsible for the providing pastoral care to all cadets and staff on the unit irrespective of their religious belief or status.

Major Hancock said: “As a serving officer in the Salvation Army, it really is an honour and privilege to have been asked to serve as the padre to 1507 (Chester-le-Street) Squadron.

“Whilst the principle role of the padre is to offer leadership and guidance on moral and spiritual matters, I’ve been hugely impressed by all the fantastic opportunities available to member of the Air Training Corps.

“The level of commitment from both staff and cadets is truly commendable and I feel immensely proud.”

Flight Lieutenant Burton said: “I feel I couldn’t have found anyone more perfect to fill the role of squadron padre at 1507 Squadron than Major Liz Hancock as she has been a pleasure to work with from the start.

“Liz was highly recommended to me by another chaplain from out of the area and their recommendation was not overstated.”

“Since arriving at the squadron Liz has jumped in feet first getting to know all of the cadets and staff, running several Padre Hours, facilitating a service at her church for ATC Sunday and Remembrance Day.

“She has even volunteered to go away with our cadets to this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

“Here she will form part of the staff team that not only looks after the hundreds of cadets at the event but also manages elements of the air show itself.”