SALVATIONISTS of all ages gathered at Regent Hall Corps (church) in central London to witness the installation of Commissioners Clive and Marianne Adams as leaders of the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland by General Linda Bond. To the playing of 'Celebration' by Regent Hall Band, the commissioners marched into the hall behind the Army colours and were greeted by enthusiastic applause.
The congregational song 'Jehovah Is Our Strength' was followed by moments of reflection and the song 'Lord I Come to You' before Colonel Sylvia Hinton (territorial headquarters) offered prayer.
Nathanael Watchorn (Regent Hall) represented the youth of the territory. He spoke about seeing young people – including his friends – leave The Salvation Army and expressed his vision of a youth facility where young people could be brought together to develop spirituality. He concluded: 'Big decisions will make a big difference to youth.'
Corps Sergeant-Major Stuart Bate (Preston), Chairman of the Territorial Advisory Council, welcomed the commissioners on behalf of local officers. He referred to the diversity of the UK both geographically and culturally and the different expressions and opportunities for service. 'There are many passionate, gifted soldiers,' he said, 'who are working to fulfil the mission.' He concluded by saying: 'We are all in this together!' and pledged prayerful and practical support to the new leaders.
After a multimedia presentation that included some family snapshots, Commissioner Marianne Adams addressed the congregation. She spoke about the ways that the heart can describe people. 'God opened his heart through Jesus,' she said. 'May his light shine in our hearts.'
The General commended the commissioners as being fine people, gifted leaders and wonderful Salvationists. In the sacred moments of installation that followed, the General told the new leaders: 'Your appointments are of the Lord. You're here because the Lord wants you to be here.' The congregation remained standing as the territorial leaders knelt in consecration at the mercy seat. The International Staff Songsters started to sing 'All That I Am', with the congregation joining in. The General then held the territorial leaders up to the Lord in fervent prayer.
Territorial Commander Commissioner Clive Adams addressed the congregation with passion and conviction, speaking about God's 'grace communication' through the Bible and how The Salvation Army is part of his 'grace-transformed community' today.
'We don't need another William and Catherine Booth,' he said. 'What we need is the passion to do what they did.' He urged people to lift the name of Jesus and concluded with the challenge: 'Live with expectation – believe that God is going to do something!'
Report by Major Jane Kimberley