One of the great joys of being the Bishop of this Diocese of Portsmouth is the presence of the Royal Navy (RN), above all here in Portsmouth itself. I met with Commodore John Voyce who since last summer has been the commander of the naval dockyard. Until last year, Commodore Voyce was based in Gosport where he was the Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan, the RN’s marine and air engineer establishment. This followed an extensive and varied career as a Marine Engineering Officer, including two years in charge of the engineering department on aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The Naval base he commands in Portsmouth supports the two new 65,000-tonne Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers as well as the entire flotilla of Type 45 destroyers, around half the Frigate Force, Offshore Patrol Vessels, Hunt-Class minehunters and P2000 patrol boats, and a wide range of defence organisations that operate from here. Over 10,000 people work in marine-related professions, serving personnel, civil servants, employees of firms such as BAE Systems, KBS Maritime, SODEXO & SERCO and contractors supporting the activities of the Fleet.
Please pray for everyone serving in our armed forces, for their safety and well-being, for peace and freedom from violence and war, and for all military leaders, that they will be truly wise, and for the chaplains who minister to them.