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Archbishop of York's Pilgrimage to Military Driving School

Friday 4th March 2016

The military and families based at Europe’s largest driving school in Leconfield had a surprise visit from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who dropped in to the Normandy Barracks as part of his Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing.

The Defence School of Transport (DST) is the centre of excellence for driver and transport management training for the Royal Marines, Army and the Royal Air Force. There are over 1,000 students on base each day undertaking driver training in a variety of vehicles from cars and heavy goods vehicles to motorcycles and Mastiff armoured vehicles.

For the Archbishop though it was not about the transport, but about the people. He was hosted by the military Padre for DST, Padre Andrew Oliver and following prayers in St Martin’s Garrison Church on the base, they went to meet students, military and civilian staff and their families at The Hub – a food and leisure venue at Normandy Barracks.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “It is wonderful to be welcomed back at the Defence School of Transport and to be here as part of my Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing.  During my last visit in 2013, I was driven over some of the steep inclines and through a maze of streets where the military drivers were practising and acquiring expert driving skills.  This time, it has been great for me to get to know some of the families at the Barracks, as well as the staff and students, here at the Hub.”

The Archbishop is over halfway through his Pilgrimage of Prayer and Blessing throughout the Diocese of York which started in Advent and will finish on Trinity Sunday (22 May 2016). Currently in the Beverley Deanery, his route will take him through all the 21 Deaneries in the Diocese of York: Beverley, Bridlington, Derwent, Easingwold, Guisborough, Harthill, Howden, Hull, Middlesbrough, Mowbray, New Ainsty, North Holderness, Northern Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby, South Holderness, South Wold, Southern Ryedale, Stokesley, Whitby, and York.

“I am delighted that the Archbishop has been able to visit DST again – his last visit left a profound impression on the young soldiers and permanent staff alike,” said Colonel Rob Peacock, the Commandant of DST.

“His words of wisdom and advice are always so well-placed and his spiritual guidance is very well-received by all.  We recognise how privileged we are to see him again.” 



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