Retiring Salvation Army leaders say their time was blessed
published on 10 Sep 2021
Two Salvation Army Divisional Leaders who are retiring next month have reflected on their time with the church and charity.
Majors Norman and Margaret Ord, who have completed 70 years of service between them, took over the Herts & Essex Division in 2012, when it was known as London North East Division, moving on to Herts & Essex in July 2016.
Hundreds of well-wishers flocked to The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Farm Estate recently to pay tribute to the couple, who described their time with The Salvation Army as ‘blessed’.
Margaret became a Salvation Army Officer at 21. She served for many years as a corps officer and was a family officer at Divisional Headquarters in Southampton when she met Norman in 2011. Norman was a corps officer for 11 years before becoming Evangelism Secretary at The Salvation Army’s UK headquarters. He was subsequently Principal at William Booth College for five years. The College provides training for officers, Salvationists and employees.
The pair married in 2012, having both been widowed a few years before.
Margaret said she has a number of highlights from her time as leader. She said she was particularly proud of the support they had made available to corps officers. Norman said supporting local leaders has been a key priority.
She said: “Over the last three or four years, we have introduced sessions called Leadership Life. Officers come together for different things and its lovely to see the relationships that have developed as people have learnt and reflected together.”
Norman said supporting local leaders has been a key priority throughout the couple’s time in leadership.
Norman said: “We haven’t been on the front line in recent years but we have sought to support, empower, resource and inspire our officers so that they can be effective in what they are doing locally. Throughout the pandemic, we made ourselves available and offered as much support as we could. I believe we have the potential to be even more effective by prioritising resources and this is the challenge as we come out of the pandemic and move forward.”
Although Norman and Margaret will still be offering support to Salvation Army officers and others, they say there are also other interests they want to pursue.
Margaret said: “We will be investing in family. We want to be available in a way we haven’t been before. Our ministry is going to be different and we want to have flexibility."
The pair emphasised they believe The Salvation Army is in a strong position going into the future and say they will continue to watch its development with interest.
Norman said: “The mission of God is something that will continue to have an impact. We have a great opportunity to prioritise on what really matters and thus, what we are able to offer to communities. We can build on what we have done before not least what we achieved in recent times of acute need.”
Margaret added: “We have been blessed to have amazing teams working alongside us. We thank God for those people and the influence we been able to have for good. Officership is a meaningful and purposeful calling and we both recommend it.”