Army Chaplains join York Minster’s virtual service to mark VE Day 75

Army Chaplains have joined York Minster’s Canon Precentor to make a special virtual service commemorating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and the ending of the Second World War.

The service is led by Canon Victoria Johnson, Canon Precentor, York Minster with guest contributors, the Revd Richard Hall, Chaplain to the 2nd Signal Regiment, York and the Revd David Barrett, Assistant Chaplain General, 1st United Kingdom Division, with music from the York Minster Choir.

Commenting on the virtual service, Canon Victoria said: “Lockdown will make it impossible for communities to come together to mark VE Day 75 – an important milestone in our country’s history. We hope that this virtual service will provide people with a spiritual space to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of the wartime generation and, at this particular time, to reflect on the courage, professionalism and commitment of everyone working to keep us safe from Covid-19.

The contributors recorded their audio/visual segments in lockdown using mobile phones. These were then edited and uploaded to the York Minster website and shared via the Minster’s social media channels.

The Revd Richard Hall, Chaplain to the 2nd Signal Regiment based in York, offers a short reflection in the service. Richard joined the army as a chaplain in 2001. He has lived in quarters in London, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, South Wales and Ripon. He has undertaken operational tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently, with the United Nations in South Sudan. Richard has been Chaplain to 2nd Signal Regiment since September 2019.

The prayers are led by the Revd David Barrett, Assistant Chaplain General, 1st United Kingdom Division. David joined the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department in 1999. He served as a regimental chaplain in both the United Kingdom and Germany, before becoming a Brigade Senior Chaplain, firstly in Shrewsbury and then in Bergen-Hohne Germany. During this period he deployed operationally to the Balkans, Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. In 2014 he became Chief Instructor at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre at Amport House and this was followed by a move to become Senior Chaplain 16 (Air Assault) Brigade, based in Colchester. In May 2018 he took up a chaplaincy role in Army Headquarters in Andover. David was appointed Assistant Chaplain General, 1st (United Kingdom Division) based in York in January 2019.

York Minster’s virtual service for VE Day is available to view online now.