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Home  >  Features  >  Remembering the Past, Serving the Present


Scripture Reader's slider and Queen's Own Highlanders Hackle. Picture: SASRA
Scripture Reader's slider and Queen's Own Highlanders Hackle. Picture: SASRA

Remembering the Past, Serving the Present

Wednesday October 31 2018


The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) is a missionary group working among the British Armed Forces. John Surtees, the Scottish representative, introduces the organisation.

November marks the culmination of the commemorations for the centenary of the end of World War One.

The theme of remembrance ('their name liveth for evermore') goes hand in hand with that of sacrifice ('greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends'). This year of remembrance is, most of all, the year of remembering loving sacrifice.

As we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, it is important also to remember those who still serve us today. Armed Forces personnel continue to face great risks on behalf of the nation.

Jesus, who calls us to love one another as he loved us, also calls upon us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). These words gain stark emphasis when we apply them to the poor and vulnerable of our world. That includes members of the Armed Forces who daily serve their country and are just as ready to lay down their lives if duty calls.

The Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) is a missionary organisation that, for the past 180 years, has sought to follow Jesus with this mission. Working alongside Army and RAF Chaplains, SASRA Scripture Readers have a tremendous and unique opportunity to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are not familiar with it.

SASRA is a Christian charity and our Scripture Readers have a unique position that allows them to befriend servicemen and women, introducing them to a practical experience of the Christian faith. Scripture Readers, all of whom are military veterans, provide a listening and supportive ear while at the same time speaking gospel truth and opening the Scriptures when appropriate.

Will you partner with our Scripture Readers in this important kingdom work? Whilst not everyone can go to the mission field or financially support the missionaries who go on our behalf, everyone can play their part through prayer.

Pray for Armed Forces personnel from your parish to meet Scripture Readers, hear the gospel, and go on to play their part as members of your church.

Sign up for prayer materials at

To find out more about the work of our Scripture Readers, why not invite me to speak at your church? For details contact or 0131 610 2169.

John Surtees spent 4 ½ years as an RAF Regiment Gunner and is now SASRA’s Area Representative for Scotland.