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Salvation Army leader launches Congress

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The world leader of the Salvation Army launched the Boundless Bermuda Congress yesterday from City Hall as part of the organisation's 150th anniversary celebrations.

General André Cox called for the movement's members to “get your hands dirty”, especially when it comes to helping those with drug and alcohol addictions.

“It's a spiral that leads to poverty and homelessness,” said Mr Cox, who met with Michael Dunkley, the Premier, yesterday morning to discuss the matter.

“We're not called to sit in the comfort of our places of worship and be disconnected from what's going on,” added the 61-year-old, who is visiting from Britain with his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox, the world president of women's ministries.

“Our churches must be involved in the local community and in trying to help people.”

The Congress, which runs until Sunday, will include a March of Witness today at 6pm on Front Street, followed by a worship service on the City Hall steps at 10am tomorrow, and a musical praise session at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club at 3pm on Sunday. The latter two events will be streamed live online at www.salvationarmy.ca/bermuda.

The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 by London minister William Booth with the aim of helping the city's hopeless and destitute residents, and has since expanded to 127 countries across the globe.

The organisation bestows quasi-military ranks upon its members, who number about two million, while its remit in helping others remains broad, encompassing everything from education to disaster relief and medical services.

“We're not an army serving in a time of peace. We are struggling with some huge issues,” said Mr Cox, who pointed to the widening gap between rich and poor as a grave problem afflicting many modern societies.

However, he remained confident that the Salvation Army was ready to tackle the most daunting of humanitarian tasks, as long as its members stayed motivated and mobilised.

“The Salvation Army is something of an enigma,” said Mr Cox, who was named the organisation's 20th world leader in August 2013.

“Is it a church, is it a religious organisation, is it an NGO? The truth is, it's all three. I quite like it when the lines are completely blurred.”

Playing to the crowd: the Salvation Army band entertained members of the organisation and the public during the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Guests of honour: the leader of the Salvation Army, General Andre Cox, and his wife Sylvia, at yesterday's launch at City Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Hitting the right note: the Salvation Army band entertained members of the organisation and the public during the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
On song: the Salvation Army band entertained members of the organisation and the public during the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton; Michael Dunkley, the Premier; and Anglican Bishop Nicholas Dill were among the dignitaries in attendance (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Anniversary celebrations: the Salvation Army band entertained members of the organisation and the public during the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Attracting a crowd: the Salvation Army band entertained members of the organisation and the public during the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Coming together: members of the Salvation Army and the public attended the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Proud moment: a member of the Salvation Army at yesterday's ceremony (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Watching the fun: members of the Salvation Army and the public attended the launch of the Boundless Bermuda Congress at City Hall yesterday (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Minister of Community, Culture and Sport, was among the guests at the ceremony (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Warm welcome: The Salvation Army's world leader, General André Cox, with Town Crier Ed Christopher during yesterday's ceremony (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published November 13, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated November 13, 2015 at 12:58 am)

Salvation Army leader launches Congress

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