12 October 2022

New cadets formally welcomed to William Booth College

Captain Jo Moir

Remote video URL
Watch the Saturday evening meeting

On Saturday 8 October, a large congregation of family, friends and supporters gathered to formally welcome the 13 cadets of the Defenders of Justice session, reports Territorial Communications Officer Captain Jo Moir.

There was an atmosphere of holy expectancy long before the cadets had their traditional ‘marching in’ which was, as usual, accompanied by rapturous applause. The formal handing over of cadets – from the candidates department to the territorial leaders and then to the principal of WBC – was accompanied by introductions and insights into each cadet’s testimony and ministry thus far.

Their sessional song ‘Defenders of Justice’, written by Majors Nick and Kerry Coke, was passionately sung by the cadets. Nick and Kerry shared their inspiration for the song, saying: ‘The song, we hope, reflects the connection between the call to action and a life rooted in the Spirit of God.’

A choir singing with people wearing Salvation Army uniform
The cadets sing 'Defenders of Justice' | Andrew King Photography

Cadets Sophie Borrett and David Perkins shared testimonies of walking with the Lord and trusting him, acknowledging those who had journeyed with them, directing and encouraging them. They also acknowledged the challenges of the sacrifices ahead, Sophie commenting on the twists and turns in her own path to officer training and David honestly remarking of his vocation, ‘Of course it’s crazy, but you've got to do it!’

Bromley Temple Band followed with the apt ‘Be Glorified’ and then the theme of Justice was creatively presented through the Bible reading brought by Candidates Directors Majors Andrea and Mark Sawyer as Major Matt Spencer sang words he had penned 10 years previously, ‘Let justice roll’. Scripture from Amos 5:23 and 24 and Micah 6:8 were read as Erin Moir (Regent Hall) interpreted the words through dance.

A teenager dancing and a singer holding a microphone wearing Salvation Army uniform
Erin Moir and Cadet Beth Perkins | Andrew King Photography

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill then explored the deep relevance of those Scriptures for the new session of cadets, for all those present and for The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He issued an invitation not to focus on religion but to seek justice; not to be caught up in legalism but instead to be caught up in showing mercy, and, above all, to be people of faithfulness, walking humbly with God.

Sunday morning worship brought a more intimate family feel to the weekend as the children of the session were featured. From the youngest to the oldest all were prayed for and celebrated.

Major Sue Pegram’s message to trust God to help us move mountains was wonderfully illustrated as one of the youngest cadet children, Toby, was invited to push over a mountain – in this instance the mountain being Commissioner Anthony! Despite his best attempts the mountain would not move until Toby’s father came to help. A reminder that with our Heavenly Father beside us we can do things we thought impossible.

Two photos: Anthony Cotterill and Althea Bawden. Both are speaking to the congregation from the platform.
Commissioner Anthony Cotterill and Major Althea Bawden | Andrew King Photography

Further testimonies were shared from Cadets Paul Sass and Ana Layton; Paul sharing his journey from deputy head teacher to distance learning cadet, and once again bringing to bear the key Scripture for the weekend from Micah. Ana shared the challenges of being an officer’s child and the joy of hearing God call her to follow him and be energised by his Holy Spirit to share Jesus and his grace with others.

The message was brought by Assistant Principal Major Althea Bawden, who reminded us that great things happen when God steps in. She referenced Jesus’ earthly ministry, a ministry of justice which saw him welcome children, break societal norms around the status of women and challenge racial prejudices.

While we gathered to celebrate the new session of cadets, we were sent out with the call to live out their sessional name in all our lives; to be – wherever we found ourselves and by God’s strength – defenders of justice.

Written by

A photo of Jo Moir.

Captain Jo Moir

Territorial Communications Officer

Discover more

Members of the newest session of cadets share their stories as they begin officer training.

Here to serve and support all those in the territory who are exploring God's calling.

Consider your response to social issues.

Public Affairs Officer Chris Hartley introduces a new opportunity for Salvationists.