London Luton’s Sky Chaplain bows out with fly-past
After 18 years of dedicated service Reverend Michael Banfield has retired as senior Chaplain of London Luton Airport. To mark the occasion, Reverend Banfield, an aviation enthusiast and honorary chaplain to the Tiger Moth club, was treated to a fly-by in a 1941 Tiger Moth aircraft, courtesy of his friends and colleagues.
Reverend Banfield joined the Airport in 1995, his arrival coinciding with a period of rapid airline growth at London Luton. Leading a team of volunteers, which today is eleven-strong and includes both Muslim and Jewish associate Chaplains, he has played a pivotal role in supporting the growing numbers of staff and passengers.
Throughout his time at the Airport, Michael has been very proactive in championing airport chaplaincy both nationally and internationally and has held the positions of Vice President of the International Association in Civil Aviation for Chaplains (IACAC) and President of the British Isles and Ireland Airport Chaplains’ Network.
Among Michael’s many achievements have been the development and dedication of the present Airport Chapel in 2000 and the opening of a Multi-Faith Airside Prayer Room, only the second of its kind in the UK, when opened in January 2010.
Glyn Jones, Managing Director, London Luton Airport commented “Michael has been a great asset to the Airport and I think I speak for the whole airport community when I offer my heartfelt thanks to Michael for his enthusiastic and dedicated service over his many years at London Luton.”
Reverend Michael Banfield said “It has been the most privileged and enjoyable ministry of 18 years that any Chaplain could have. Ministering to such a friendly, diverse and receptive community that is also a family and all serving the most wonderful industry of aviation”.
John Scott, CEO of Workplace Matters expressed his gratitude for the fine work that Michael has undertaken and looks forward to the future under the new Chaplain.
Reverend Michael Banfield officially retired on 31 October and is succeeded by the Revd Canon Liz Hughes.
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