30 November 2022

Territorial envoys share their stories

A collage of headshot photos of six territorial envoys wearing Salvation Army uniform

Six territorial envoys share their stories during the early days of their service as corps leaders.

A headshot photo of Julia Attwood wearing Salvation Army uniform

Julia Attwood

Associate Officer, Saffron Walden

All my life I have been involved with the Church and have always been passionate about teaching and nurturing others in their faith. For a long time I was involved with children’s work and local leadership in the Army. My relationship with Jesus became much more real after a difficult time in my family and I began to sense God’s call to spiritual leadership. There had been several occasions throughout my life when I wondered if God was calling me and I constantly felt there was something more in his plan for me.

Once I recognised the call, it was confirmed in many ways. At one point in the process I really wrestled with God about it, but when I decided to carry on I was filled with peace.

It is strange starting a new venture in my 50s but I know God is able to use my life experiences and skills for this role. There is a lot to learn and I could not do it without the support of my family and friends. I know I am where God wants me to be. I put my whole life into his hands and trust him to lead me every day.

A headshot photo of Catherine Brown wearing Salvation Army uniform

Catherine Brown

Deal with Minster

If I am completely honest with myself, I think I have always felt the call to officership. However, like many before me, I chose to ignore it and head in the opposite direction. It wasn’t until one day when my husband, Johnathan, felt the call to officership that I finally began to listen to that little voice in my head and bravely opened the door and said, ‘Here I am.’

Fast forward through three years of an application process that saw a Covid-19 pandemic, a shift from a cadet applicant to a territorial envoy applicant and countless experiences with God, I find myself right in the place that God has called me to be.

It has not always been easy. It has not always been fun. But with every step I have taken, God has been right there with me leading the way and I’m excited to see what else God has in store for me.

For anyone who feels even the slightest draw towards full-time ministry, I dare you to push the door and see what happens. God has great things planned for you.

A headshot photo of Johnathan Brown wearing Salvation Army uniform

Johnathan Brown

Deal with Minster

I was just a gardener. But with God, you are never just anything. With God, we are always something more. Well, that’s what I came to realise, anyway.

I always wanted to be a gardener, and I never knew God. I went looking for love on a dating site and got so much more than I thought I would ever get. I managed to find a girlfriend who is now my wife.

What is even better is that I got the greater love of God. I didn’t know him, but he knew me and had plans for me. He showed me that he loved that I cared for his plants but that, actually, he needed me to look after his creation in a different way, and that was to care for his people.

I would love to say it’s been easy, but it hasn’t. God is involved and has a sense of humour. I have always been that person who says ‘that’s not me’, but from the day I walked through the citadel door, he called me onwards even if I didn’t know where that would be. The hardest but best thing I have ever done is say ‘yes’ to God.

A headshot photo of Andrea Hopkins wearing Salvation Army uniform

Andrea Hopkins


God called me to officership when I was still at school. I remember telling the careers teacher that being an officer was what I was going to do.

Things happen, don’t they? And sometimes our path, which once seemed so clear, gets disrupted. Our family circumstances changed dramatically and going to the Army became more difficult. It seemed my life was going in other directions. I couldn’t forget my calling, but I tried to divert from it, telling myself – and God – that I could work for him as well at SP&S and THQ as I could as an officer.

But God didn’t forget me – he never does. My life seemed settled and being an officer seemed an impossible mountain to climb, but my calling was still there.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic arrived and, while it was a difficult time for everyone, God worked through the difficulties in so many miraculous ways, opening doors I didn’t know were there and making the way clear to territorial envoyship. I am so blessed in being just where God wants me to be. There is so much peace in knowing that God has his way and that I am where he always planned, doing his will.

A headshot photo of Alison Parker wearing Salvation Army uniform

Alison Parker

Briston with Fakenham

I was brought up in The Salvation Army. Dedicated at Snettisham as a baby, I later became a junior soldier and then a senior soldier. God called me to officership aged 14 and called again and again over the years, but I became adept at ignoring his voice or thinking up reasons (excuses) why I couldn’t respond. But God never gives up!

One Sunday morning our envoy preached on Luke 9:57–62 and ended with ‘Jesus wants followers not fans’. At that moment I knew I could not put off my calling any longer.

That was nine years ago and the path has not been straightforward. There have been many delays and frustrating circumstances, but all the way God has reassured me with Habakkuk 2:3: ‘Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true’ (Good News Bible).

It has reminded me that God will fulfil his plan for my life in his time not mine. God waited almost 30 years for me to answer his call; I only had to wait nine to see his plan unfold and to serve him as a territorial envoy.

A headshot photo of Emma Scott wearing Salvation Army uniform

Emma Scott

Associate Officer, Forest of Dean

I just fell into it! I came to the Army about eight years ago. I was a single mum and an alcoholic. I’d come out of a domestic abuse relationship and my social worker encouraged me to come here and make friends.

I’d been brought up a Methodist and I’d been in and out of church all my life, but it never felt right. When I came to Forest of Dean there was something about corps officer Major Viv Prescott that made me want to explore more about God.

I became an adherent as I wanted to show my recommitment to God. That wasn’t enough, so I became a soldier. But even that wasn’t enough. I had this bigger calling that I needed to serve God more. I didn’t know what that was, so I went to Design for Life.

It felt like a veil was being lifted and I saw the real me for the first time – the way God had always seen me. He showed me that I was being called into officership, which was scary.

I started the process, but there were things put in the way, so I looked at becoming a territorial envoy. In a way, I just fell into it!

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