Majors Stuart and Gillian Dicker farewelled from Hadleigh Temple on 28 November 2010. They take up urgent divisional appointments. There will be no replacement officers appointed until at least the next general change in August 2011.
A near-capacity congregation enjoyed an extended meeting to bid farewell to Majors Stuart and Gillian Dicker. The meeting was very much themed around making Christ known and included the enrolment of the sixth senior soldier in as many weeks.
Major Stuart said that throughout their officership they have strived to do one thing and that was to make Jesus Christ known. Appreciation was voiced by a representative of DHQ and two local officers of the corps.
Divisional Director for Social Work & Community Services, Beverley Egan spoke of the work that Major Stuart had done behind the scenes in serving on local community committees keeping The Salvation Army highly visible. Not least of which was the work towards the Olympic event on the farm. In which regard she acknowledged the Major’s enthusiasm in working closely with the Training Centre, especially mobilising members of the corps to help with an Olympic exhibition at the farm. At this event Major Gillian had made contact with a person new to the Army and spent some time counselling her. Major Gillian referred the person to a corps near where she lived and that person has since become saved.
YPSM Elaine Johnson said a big thank you on behalf of the Young People’s Corps for the support given and the willingness to listen to the contribution to the young people had to offer. She particularly thanked Major Gillian for the work she did for the mother and toddler’s club. She presented the majors with gifts.
Speaking on behalf of the senior corps, Recruiting Sergeant Janet Graham tried to list all that the officers had been doing week after week including the community involvement, pastoral and support work, meals for the sick as well as that work that was undertaken in public like meeting leadership, but said such a list would be too long. She presented the officers with a gift before offering a prayer for their future ministry.
In her response, Major Gillian thanked the corps for their love and said she was grateful for the other gifts and cards they had received, saying their front room was like a florists’ shop. She thanked people for supporting her baking efforts saying that £1700 had been raised for the cottage effort. She apologised if the cakes eaten to raise that money had had an effect on some people’s waistline! Major Stuart said there was unfinished work, such as the cottage and the appointment of a families’ worker but that will go on. He said they had been at Hadleigh with the expectation of seeing the Olympics project through. He was pleased still to be able to see that but from a different position.
The Songsters finished the meeting with “Compelled by Love”, especially chosen by Major Gillian. At the end, the Songsters remained standing for the officers to leave and the congregation stood also.