Sunday, 28 August 2011

Senior Sky Pilots

In June 1959 the Right Reverend EF Easson, Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney paid an informal visit to the Unit. A year later he returned, accompanied by the Reverend FJ Bowen (Group Captain – Chaplain in Chief for Fighter command). On this occasion a service of dedication was held in the new Station Church.  (Left click on pictures to enlarge).
From then until the closure of the station there were frequent visits by senior churchmen including Chaplains-in-Chief of the RAF, Moderators  of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Bishops of Aberdeen and various other Bishops of Aberdeen & Orkney.
Two more recent visits, about which I have a little more information, are described below:
Chaplain-in-Chief to the RAF - 1991
The Venerable Brian Lucas visited RAF Saxa Vord late in 1991. His main purpose was to open the new Station Chapel, which replaced the old church which had been housed in a wooden building near the Ice Cap (the building also housed Radio Saxa Vord for much of its’ life). As that building had been demolished around 1980 to make way for the new MTSS I presume temporary facilities had been used for services on camp for over 10 years. An article from the Shetland Times reporting on the service of dedication is below:
The interior of the new chapel can be seen in the following photo

Anglican Bishop to the RAF - 1995
The Right Reverent John Kirkham AKC MA visited the Unit in late May 1995. He was up for 2 days. I’m not sure what he did on the first day, perhaps it was a Sunday and a working day for him. On the second day of his visit he toured Fetlar and was shown Brough Lodge and the Fetlar Interpretive Centre. He also took the opportunity to visit a community of Anglican nuns “The Society of Our Lady of the Isles” in their convent. A selection of pictures from that trip follow