A CHURCH leader has been taken over as padre to a squadron of air cadets.

Major Liz Hancock, from the Salvation Army in Chester-le-Street, has been invited to become chaplain to 1507 (Chester-le-Street) Squadron of the Air Training Corps.

The Squadron has been without a padre for several years, but Major Hancock has been officially appointed at a ceremony held in the squadron’s headquarters.

She will provide appropriate pastoral care to all cadets and staff on the unit, irrespective of their religious belief or status.

Major Hancock said: “While the principle role of the Padre is to offer leadership and guidance on moral and spiritual matters, I’ve been hugely impressed by all the fantastic opportunities available to members of the Air Training Corps.

“The level of commitment from both staff and cadets is truly commendable and I feel immensely proud to be part of such a worthwhile organisation.”

Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Mathew Burton, added: “Liz was highly recommended to me by another chaplain from out of the area and their recommendation was not overstated.

“Since arriving at the Squadron, Liz has jumped in feet first getting to know all of the cadets and staff, running several Padre Hours, facilitating a service at her church for ATC Sunday and Remembrance Day”.