The Second World War was a time of great suffering, destruction and disruption. In Britain, there was mass conscription of men and women. SASRA responded to the spiritual needs of Army and RAF personnel by opening Huts and Rest Rooms, and by recruiting extra Scripture Readers (increased from 65 at the start of the war to a peak of 178 men and 20 women).
This book traces SASRA’s work using accounts from contemporary documents
(including magazines, annual reports and minutes). Beginning with the introduction of conscription in May 1939, it follows the work in the UK and during the main British overseas campaigns, from France in 1940 through to Berlin and Burma (Myanmar) in 1945. Some of the accounts take us into the front line with Scripture Readers being evacuated under fire from France and Crete, and with the troops in North Africa and Italy. There are also testimonies of service men and women finding new spiritual life in Jesus Christ. It ends with reflections on the coming of peace and the ongoing need to reach those in the peace-time Army and RAF.
About the Author
Bill Newton is a volunteer with MissionAssist. He lives in Berkshire and is a member of a local evangelical church. MissionAssist was founded in 1989 to support mission workers through academic, practical and IT services freely provided by Christians working from their own homes. There are now nearly seven hundred such volunteers around the world. They use their abilities and skills to support and assist those spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
During WW2 ASR&SACA, the predecessors of our own SASRA, grew to having around 180 Scripture Readers on active service both at home and overseas. The accounts of that vital spiritual work in this book, all drawn from archive records, demonstrate the importance of the work of the Association at a time when so many were being called to the service of their country and when so many paid the ultimate price. SASRA continues today to be uniquely placed to take the gospel “behind the wire” to service men and women, whose need is every bit as great as was that of the personnel in the Second World War.
Major-General Robert Thomson CBE DSO,
Commander of British Forces Cyprus
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