The Bishop of Willesden and acting Bishop of London has paid an official visit to RAF Northolt and kick off a programme of events on the station that will celebrate the Royal Air Force’s centenary year.
Bishop Pete, who grew up next to the unit in Ruislip, led a service of blessing at the unit’s St Christopher’s Chapel before visiting personnel and sections across the station. The service blessed the station and its personnel as they enter a second century of operations for the Royal Air Force and remembered those that have served before.
Bishop Pete said:
“The story of the first independent Air Force in history – the RAF – is the story of countless achievements in both peace and war. For 100 years it has inspired generations through ever greater feats of bravery and sacrifice. RAF Northolt has been a part of that story from the very beginning, and I am delighted to be able to visit and bless the station as the service enters its centenary year.”
RAF Northolt’s Station Commander, Group Captain Mike Carver said:
“It is an honour and a privilege that the Right Reverend Broadbent has visited us today. The service was a fitting way to start our RAF 100 celebrations and a sign to everyone on the unit that what is going to be a full, busy and exciting year has begun. The RAF 100 is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate our Service past, present and future, and we are looking forward to doing that with the local community.”
The Royal Air Force is the oldest independent Air Force in the world and was formed on 1 April 1918. A series of celebrations – called RAF 100 – will salute the Service’s centenary and run from October 2017 to October 2018.