International leaders of The Salvation Army to visit South Wales

published on 2 May 2018

The world leaders of The Salvation Army are visiting South Wales this week to mark 140 years since the organisation sent two missionaries to open a corps [church] in Merthyr Tydfil.

General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox will be arriving in the town on Saturday 5 May to lead the celebrations and take part in services and prayer with local Salvation Army members.

They’ll be leading an open-air service at Burtons Corner in the early afternoon before joining a Salvation Army band procession to march to the town hall where a civic reception is taking place.

And on Saturday evening, the General  and Commissioner will be guests at a celebration event being held at Merthyr Tydfil leisure centre.

Sunday will see them taking part in service at the leisure centre and a meal at the golf club before returning to London in the early evening.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Lieutenant-Colonel Joáo Paulo Ramos, Divisional Leader of the Salvation Army’s South and Mid Wales Division, said:

“It is a tremendous privilege to be joined by General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox for the 140th anniversary celebrations of the Merthyr Tydfil Corps, which is just one of the thousands of The Salvation Army’s local ministries which are spread across 128 countries.

“We have a long and proud history in Merthyr Tydfil and The Salvation Army has been serving this community since February 1878 when Kate Watts and Harriet Perkin who were both 21-years-old at the time, were sent to the town to open The Salvation Army’s 34th corps or church.

“At that time, our organisation was known as the Christian Mission and the name ‘The Salvation Army’ wasn’t actually adopted by us until six months later in August that year. Since that time,

The Salvation Army’s Merthyr Tydfil Corps has met at many different locations including the old Drill Hall and the theatre on Market Square before moving into its current home - Morlais Chapel on Glebeland Place in 1937.

“From Glebeland Place, we’ve provided a range of services over the years specifically to meet the needs of the local community and from there we’re currently running a carers and tots group, Café Cwtch – our support group for parents and carers of children with special educational needs, a midweek Sunday school and a club for  children aged 5 to 11. And of course, there’s also Sunday worship.

“This visit not only recognises the rich history of The Salvation Army’s witness and social outreach in Wales, but is also an opportunity for local Salvationists to be inspired and mobilised by the work of the Army at an international level and for them to realise the vital part they play in mobilising people to join a movement that is serving needs in 128 countries across the globe.”