Anyone who comes to The Salvation Army will receive assistance based solely on their need and our capacity to provide help. We work with people who are vulnerable and marginalised across the world, and offer very practical help, unconditional assistance and support regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
We employ a large number of people of other faiths, cultures and varying sexual orientation and we respect and value the rich diversity of our staff and the communities in which we serve.
Interdenominational and interfaith work
The Salvation Army works to promote interdenominational and interfaith collaboration across the UK and Ireland. In August 2014 our Territorial Commander signed a letter to The Telegraph alongside other leaders from the Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish faiths to condemn the ‘crimes against humanity’ taking place in Iraq. This united stand by multi-faith movements was followed by a vigil in September 2014 at Westminster Abbey, where representatives of The Salvation Army joined other senior religious leaders to affirm solidarity with the people of Iraq. Underlying our work with ecumenical and interfaith work is a belief in the common humanity and equality of all people.
Catering for learning and physical disabilities
Furthermore, we believe each person is intentionally created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This means everyone is of infinite worth. Living in this world can involve pain, suffering and varying degrees of disability but this does not diminish the value of life. We strive to include and involve anyone with a learning or physical disability within our day to day activities, and aim to make adjustments and provide support to enable anyone to access everything we provide.
The Salvation Army stands against homophobia, which victimises people and can reinforce feelings of alienation, loneliness and despair. We aim to be an inclusive church where members of the LGBT community find welcome and the encouragement to develop their relationship with God.
A diverse range of views on homosexuality may exist within The Salvation Army – as among the wider Christian (and non-Christian) community. But no matter where individual Salvationists stand on this matter, The Salvation Army does not permit discrimination on the basis of sexual identity in the delivery of its social care or in its employment practices.
"I insist on the equality of women with men,” said our founder William Booth in 1908. “Every officer and soldier should insist upon the truth that woman is as important, as valuable, as capable and as necessary to the progress and happiness of the world as man.”
As The Salvation Army became established, so women were given leadership responsibilities. Catherine Booth, William’s wife, fought to expand the role for women in church and public life, advocating better conditions and pay for women workers in London’s sweated labour, most notably in the match-making industry. In the early days of The Army, women were sent to open new corps (churches), while others started social work among the women of the streets. By 1878 there were nearly equal numbers of women officers (41) as there were men officers (49). William’s daughters are great examples of how important women were in the early development of The Army. Catherine (Kate) pioneered work France, while Emma became the principal of the first Army training home for women, Evangeline became the first female international leader (General) of The Salvation Army and Lucy led the Army’s work in India, Denmark, Norway and South America.
This commitment to equality remains today.