Methodist Allan features in new booklet

Sidmouth Methodist minister praises booklet celebrating 150 years service to Armed Forces

A NEWLY published booklet by the Methodist Church that celebrates 150 years of Ministry to the Armed Forces, features Sidmouth Methodist Minister, the Reverend Allan Bowers.

The two-page spread hones in on Allan’s work as an Army chaplain during the war in Korea in 1953, serving with the 1st Commonwealth Divisional Signals Regiment.

“I did my record of the year I was there of everything that happened and everything I did as a chaplain and sent it to the Imperial War Museum,” said Allan, 87, who lives in Woolbrook.

It was from this record that Emma Kennedy and Alison Pollard researched Allan’s contribution for their publication.

“It is a brilliant piece of work and quite a wonderful record of our ministry in the services,” said Allan, who said Methodist chaplains were now serving all over the world, including in Afghanistan.

“I am the only surviving Methodist minister who served in the war in Korea,” said Allan, who was instrumental in getting the 1,000-strong regiment to build St Martin’s in the Paddy church there, using corrugated steel supplied by the American soldiers in exchange for tinned butter and jam.

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“It held 150 and was packed every Sunday,” said Allan, who has been keeping busy writing articles for the Sidmouth Herald’s Religion column and is about to publish his third book, Treasure in Heaven, inspired by the death of his beloved wife Betty nearly four years ago.

Its subject is dying, but he stresses: “It is not morbid. There is life before death as well as life after death. The whole idea about it is when you go to heaven it will be absolutely wonderful, beyond our imagining.”