Salvation Army is to shut Alderney corps

ALDERNEY’S Salvation Army corps is closing after 140 years.

The Salvation Army’s worship hall in Alderney will be sold when it closes its corps in the island. (Picture by David Nash)
The Salvation Army’s worship hall in Alderney will be sold when it closes its corps in the island. (Picture by David Nash)

The decision was made as numbers have been declining.

It has been more than a decade since the Alderney corps has had a full-time officer, and since then the corps and the Salvation Army Christian witness on the island has been under the leadership of local members.

The very small fellowship currently hosts Sunday morning worship services, weekly prayer meetings, Bible study and a coffee morning.

The Salvation Army’s southern division leader, Lt-Colonel Graham Owen, said it was sad to make the decision.

‘The Salvation Army has a proud heritage in Alderney and has played an important role in the lives of people in the island, but over the last few years, there has been a significant decrease in numbers, due to age and people leaving the island,’ he said.

‘This sadly means that the Salvation Army is no longer able to provide full-time leadership.’

The Salvation Army arrived in Alderney and opened a corps in 1882.

Along with most Alderney residents, the officers and Salvationists were evacuated during the Occupation, and the corps then reopened after the Second World War, in July 1946.

From the end of this year, all official Salvation Army services and activities will come to an end and the worship meeting hall and the officer’s quarters will sold.

From the time of closure, Salvation Army members in Alderney will have the opportunity to remain Salvationists, and will be given the option to transfer their membership to the Guernsey corps, where they will come under the pastoral care of the church leaders in Guernsey.

Those leaders may visit Alderney from time to time to minister to the few Salvationists remaining in the northern isle.

‘We do understand that some islanders may wish to maintain their Salvation Army membership, as Salvationists, and attend another local church, while some alternatively may wish to become members of another local church,’ said Lt-Col Owen.

‘Of course, we encourage all our members and friends in Alderney, as they have always done, to remain a vibrant part of Christian life and witness in the island, and we encourage them to remain faithful to Christian worship and fellowship, prayer, Bible study and Christian outreach.

'We are committed to offering compassionate support, especially during this very difficult time of transition.’

A closure timetable has still to be decided, but it is likely to be before the end of the year.

n Guernsey still has a church at L’Islet, as well as a community centre off the Bridge.

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