'Your dedication, insight, prayer and financial skills have been greatly appreciated'
The long service of David Lovegrove to the United Board has been recognised at its annual conference
The United Navy, Army and Air Force Board of the Baptist Union, United Reformed Church and Congregational Federation is the 'sending church' body for all those engaged in military chaplaincy, in all three services. David, the former Baptist Union finance manager, is retiring having served the board for 45 years. For 41 of those years he was its treasurer.
During his retirement speech David (pictured front row, third from left) noted that his long service had brought him into contact with a number of Chaplain Generals. He spoke of how he had enjoyed the changing interview process to determine the minister’s suitability to this demanding role, and of the privilege of serving the board.
‘I believe the work that you do in Christ’s name and in the name of the denominations that you come from, have given many men and women a sight into a spiritual life that they may not have had,' he said.
‘So many thanks for allowing myself to serve you all in this way.’
David also referenced his father, an Army Chaplain who saw service on D Day and was subsequently awarded an MC (Military Cross) for his bravery.
‘He enjoyed being a chaplain, and continued his work when he was in the pastorate at Windsor: he went over to Arborfield (a British Army garrison until 2015) to meet the soldiers, where he continued to learn from them as well as imparting the Christian Gospel to them.’
General Secretary Lynn Green is co-chair of the United Board. She paid tribute to David’s ‘unique and remarkable’ service, which, she noted, stemmed from who he was as a follower of Christ.
She said, ‘David, we have all been blessed through your faithful and steadfast love and support and we know that this arises from your faith in Christ. We want you to know that your discipleship has enabled our discipleship journey and for that we give thanks to God.
‘We recognise too that the Lord has given you many gifts and that you have generously and unstintingly exercised those gifts to the benefit of the United Board over so many years. We have also really appreciated your sense of calling to serve the United Board.
‘Inspired by the distinguished chaplaincy of your father, you have played your own part in the ministry of the United Board. Serving alongside six Convenors, not only as Treasurer, but also through your contribution to the selection of Chaplains, your dedication, insight, prayer and financial skills have been greatly appreciated.
‘The reality is that words are not really adequate to express all you have been and done and just how grateful we are … but we say it anyway – thank you.’
Image | Al Nicoll | United Navy, Army and Air Force Board of the Baptist Union, United Reformed Church and Congregational Federation