Top tips for Salvation Army Officers moving appointment

A matchfactory exclusive!  As Salvation Army Officer appointments in the UK are made public today, we’ve consulted some battle-hardened officers, seasoned in the art of justice-seeking, to offer some top tips for the Officer who is moving appointment and wants to be ready to get going quickly.  There’s some tips in there that might be relevant even if you’re not moving, and even if you’re not an Officer!

They are in no priority order – some can be done before, some when you’re there.  In any case, soak up the wisdom of what they’ve got to say!

  1. Check out who the MP is for your new corps (and quarters in case they’re different!) at this website.
  2. Email the MP to arrange a one to one meeting on your arrival for the purpose of developing a public, trust-based relationship
  3. Same as above for local councillors
  4. Same as above for key reporters at the local paper
  5. Check whether the constituency is a marginal seat (if so, please get in touch with us as we’d love to work with you in the build-up to the next general election)
  6. Use this website to learn more about poverty indicators in your area
  7. Use this website to learn more about the ward and neighbourhood surrounding your new appointment.
  8. On arrival, prepare a plan for systematic visitation, including everyone connected to the Corps. Start with the leadership team – the inner circle – and work outwards.  Keep an open mind and be ready to listen.  And be ready to share your story too.
  9. Ask each person what makes them angry.
  10. Ask people who attend community programmes what worries them about the community.
  11. Ask your new neighbours who the ‘movers and shakers’ are in the neighbourhood or what 1 thing you need to know about the community as a newcomer.
  12. Read about the political history of your new community. Use google or local history library.
  13. Buy a local newspaper and highlight all the local political stories. Can you identify what issues are important to your neighbourhood?  Set up a google alert for news from your new area.
  14. Stick to your visitation plan. Don’t get sucked into activities or programmes.
  15. Identify those in the congregation who are passionate about social justice.
  16. Walk from the quarters to the Corps for the first few weeks. Take a different route each time and make a note of other churches, faith institutions, community organisations ready to follow up at a later date.
  17. Read Marching Towards Justice for an introduction to community organising and The Salvation Army.
  18. Subscribe to www.matchfactory.org

Have you found these tips useful? Do you have any more to add? Share them in the comments below – if they’re good we’ll add them to the list!

5 thoughts on “Top tips for Salvation Army Officers moving appointment”

  1. Fantastic list, why not also ( if appropriate) spend some time, may be a day with your predecessor and get a personal link or introduction via their existing connections,sometimes these valuable built up relationships get lost in the transition and an introductory phone call or email or even a visit can save valuable time connecting, also check out your new local neighbourhood @ http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/

    1. When I visited Anita in Loughborough recently, she asked me to meet her in the market and then proceeded to introduce me to the market stall holders. I found out that Anita has been an unofficial chaplain for the market. Anyway, I felt like the Queen being introduced to sellers and customers. The experience was really good. The best of it all was the introduction to the stall holders’ wife who knows all the homeless,vulnerable and sofa surfing in the town and where they hang around and their history. I learnt that she is the port of call with queries. She will go out and look out for them when any member of the public ‘reports’ them as a concern etc… This is a life saver for me because in the past I have been in the appointment just a few days and have had a call saying someone is begging in the street looking cold and wet etc…and I have rushed out to help. Knowing about this lady means I can contact her first and she where the land lies. I can be better informed and maybe help where the help is missing, stand in the gap! I think it would be a good idea to ask this lady if she will take me with her and introduce me to some of the ‘regulars’ and fill me in on the situation in the town. What do you think? Any other suggestions?

  2. Thank you for Top Tips for moving appointment…will use what I can this time as I move…the good thing about having longer to prepare for a move is that articles like this one can be assimilated into preparations in plenty of time…marta

Leave a Reply