Aerial Chaplaincy

by Gerry Lynch last modified 23 Aug, 2018 05:11 PM

West Wilts Rector takes on new role as volunteer chaplain to Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has welcomed the Revd John Rees as its first Chaplain.

John will provide support to staff and aircrew at the charity, which recently moved into its new airbase at Semington, near Melksham, as well as offering pastoral support to patients and bereaved families, should they request it.

John will undertake the role alongside his work as Rector of the Canalside Benefice, which covers Hilperton, Staverton, Semington and Whaddon.

John, 60, and who lives in Staverton, said, “I am delighted to be the Chaplain to Wiltshire Air Ambulance and it will be a privilege for me to support members of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance team in anyway that I can. I see the role as an extension of my existing responsibility as Rector of Semington village.

“I have been very moved by the warm welcome that I have been given by many members of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance team and I am deeply impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and expertise I have seen. The work of Wiltshire Air Ambulance is essential to the community and if, in a small way, I can help support the team as they make a difference to so many, I will be very pleased.

“I hope to be an approachable informal source of support to any member of the team, who would find it helpful, and to get to know the differing challenges of the various roles within Wiltshire Air Ambulance. I will also provide occasional pastoral support to visitors to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance base.”

A keen walker, John is planning to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and improvements to St George’s Church, Semington, and St Michael’s Church, Hilperton, by undertaking a two day sponsored walk along part of the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath in October.

John was ordained in 2006 and undertook his training post in Blunsdon and Highworth, in the Diocese of Bristol part of the county. This was a voluntarily part time role and in 2010 he left the communications industry and moved to full-time ministry.

Claire Kelly, Head of People, Retail and Supporter Engagement at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are very pleased and privileged to have the pastoral support of John. People are at the heart of our charity and we are all very different.

“Everyone has their own challenges inside and outside of work and to have some informal support and a listening ear, irrespective of people’s religious beliefs, is a real benefit to the whole team and the community we serve.”

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