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New General and his team 'welcomed into the family'

New General and his team 'welcomed into the family'

New General and his team 'welcomed into the family'

7 August 2018

The International Headquarters team officially welcomed General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, at a special ceremony yesterday.

By Kevin Sims

The word “family” came up over and over again at a relaxed and informal International Headquarters welcome to General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World President of Women’s Ministries) in London yesterday.

The Peddles’ daughters and grandchildren were mentioned, but family was mainly used to refer to the “IHQ family” – the International Headquarters staff and officers who gathered to support their new leaders.

The meeting was also the first in their new appointments of the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham) and Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries), who – like the General and World President – began their new roles on Friday 3 August.

The Peddles (left) and Buckinghams (right) walk to IHQ.

Welcoming the new international leaders, Colonel Lisbeth Welander (Under Secretary for Programme Resources) spoke about Moses being acknowledged as “one of the best leaders”. He was, she said, “victorious as long as he made himself dependent on God”.

She referred to the occasion when Aaron and Hur physically supported Moses’ arms while the people of Israel were in a battle, saying: “We will support you and stand with you – and give the glory all to God.” [Exodus 17:12]

Special guests at the event included General Shaw Clifton (Rtd), General John Larsson (Rtd), Commissioner Freda Larsson, Commissioner Giséle Gowans and new leaders of the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, Commissioners Anthony and Gillian Cotterill.

Commissioner Peddle spoke about the “incredible privilege and honour” she and the General felt in taking charge of The Salvation Army. She added that she couldn’t think of a better place to be than “here, with our IHQ family”. General Brian and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle approach IHQ.

She shared that she had a moment when her “heart and mind became preoccupied with the enormity and scope of the new role”. At that point, she said, “God told me: ‘You can’t – but I can!’”

Moments of praise and worship were followed by a response from the General, who told IHQ staff and officers that he was “delighted to have another chapter to write with you”. He continued: “People of IHQ, you are our team. This is not an ‘us and them’ task – we will share together the wonderful things God has in store.”

He paid tribute to his predecessor, General André Cox (Rtd), and Commissioner Silvia Cox, for the willing and helpful way they had worked with him and Commissioner Peddle, leaving “a legacy that we can step into”.

He described Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham as “people of character and value” and, talking about the way that things had fallen into place since he had announced the appointment of his Chief of the Staff, the General said that “all that has happened has God’s miraculous imprint on it”.


Then, looking back on his 41 years as a Salvation Army officer, he made clear that the potential he was now realising was only possible “because I said ‘yes’ with no conditions”.

Referring to the promise in Isaiah 41:10 where God told his people not to be afraid or dismayed because he would strengthen, help and uphold them, the General declared: “I am not afraid! And I don’t anticipate being dismayed!”

Following the official welcome, the congregation and leaders shared in relaxed fellowship over a meal – like a family.

Kevin Sims is the editor of The Salvation Army’s international publication, All the World.


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