One of the key members of any successful Air Cadet Staff Team is the units’ Padre; for the past five years 2160 (Sleaford) Squadron has been fortunate to have the services of the Vicar of Sleaford, the Reverend Philip Johnson.
As the vicar of the town’s parish church, and in addition to his work with the Air Cadets, Philip is also involved with a number of other organisations in Sleaford and the surrounding area.
It was as a result of his close links with the local community he found himself involved with RAF Cranwell, the station being only six miles from Sleaford. Observing the work of the Officer Training Organisation Philip decided he would like to take on the challenge of becoming a Commissioned Padre in the RAF Auxiliary.
After nearly three and a half years of intensive training, fitted around his many other commitments, late last year Philip successfully graduated from the RAF College as the Reverend Flight Lieutenant Johnson RAF (Aux).
When asked about his motivation to become an RAF Auxiliary Chaplain Philip said: “I have worked alongside military chaplains at many of the RAF Stations in the surrounding area and I really thought I would like to take on the responsibilities their role brings, in addition the physical challenge of completing the officer training course really interested me; I am fast approaching the age of fifty and wanted to see if I had the recourses, both physical and mental to complete the very challenging training programme.”
Philip went on to say that he saw the training and experience he had gained as a real benefit to his work with the cadets, many of whom aspire to an RAF career.
We wish Philip every success as a service chaplain alongside his many other commitments to the church and the wider community of Sleaford.