04 October 2016

GENERAL André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries) travelled to Oslo, Norway, to install Commissioner William Cochrane as leader of the Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory. The installation took place during a warm and blessed Sunday morning meeting at Oslo Temple Corps (church).

A large crowd gathered to worship, listen to the new territorial commander and show support for their new leader. The meeting, led by Chief Secretary Colonel Jan Peder Fosen, had a sense of optimism, fervour and passion, with lots of laughter.

The General gave the congregation a warm and personal presentation of Commissioner Cochrane, who he thanked for being a good colleague over many years. The congregation stood and the commissioner knelt to be formally installed as territorial leader by the General, who brought the moment to God in prayer. The commissioner was met by sustained applause from a smiling and welcoming congregation.

In his Bible message, the new territorial commander urged his listeners not to put their trust in him, the General or The Salvation Army, but in God. He urged the congregation – and people across the territory who were watching via live stream – to be visible Christians and to take every opportunity to witness. 'We must,' he said, 'bring Christ to the people and people to Christ.' There was a spontaneous and significant response from the congregation, with many moving forward to the mercy seat or standing as a sign of commitment. This response was replicated in corps across the territory as congregations watched the meeting online.

Before the sermon there was singing and joyful music. Oslo Temple Band opened with the march 'The Ambassadors' before the congregation joined in with the opening song 'Who is on the Lord's Side?' or, as the Norwegian translation puts it, 'Who will Serve the Lord?'. Major Marit Skartveit gave a vocal solo, Oslo Temple Songsters sang and a vocal group contributed a couple of Commissioner Cochrane's favourite songs, including a beautiful setting of 'Be Still my Soul' with soloist Hannah Borrett.

Among the many greetings for the new leader were words of welcome by Knut Refsdal – representing the Norwegian Council of Churches – and Major Solfrid Bakken, who gave a greeting on behalf of the territory.

After the meeting, congregation members had opportunity to meet Commissioner Cochrane and share in cake and coffee.

The visit had commenced on Saturday, when the General presented the new territorial leader to a large gathering of officers at Oslo 3 Corps.

Report by Andrew Hannevik

Tags: Europe, The General