Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQ: Who runs The Salvation Army?
The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination. Our philosophy is that we can best express our love for God by compassionately reaching out to help people. We follow the Golden Rule – ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’
 

FAQ:  History - where did The Salvation Army start?
The Salvation Army's beginnings date back to 2 July 1865 when a Methodist minister named William Booth began preaching to and helping the poor and underprivileged in London; by 1867 it had developed into a ministry offering basic schooling, reading rooms, penny banks, soup kitchens, and relief aid to the destitute.
 

FAQ:  Where did the name of The Salvation Army come from?
1865 - Originally called the Christian Revival Society, and soon after called the East London Christian Mission.
1867 - The organisation grew rapidly and became known simply as the Christian Mission.
1878 - William Booth was perusing a printer's proof for a pamphlet, which referred to the Christian Mission as a ' volunteer army'. Booth swept his pen through the word ' volunteer' and changed it to read 'Salvation Army'. The name was adopted.
 

FAQ:  Why does The Salvation Army have a Family Tracing Service?
In The Salvation Army we believe everyone needs the sense of belonging that only family relationships can provide. When people are separated from their families for whatever reason, this can be a cause of great unhappiness. That is why we have a Family Tracing Service. It is one of the oldest tracing agencies in the world, having been founded in 1885.

FAQ:  How do I become a Christian
The heart of Christianity is not a set of rules and regulations, but about God's love and a historical event - the violent crucifixion of Jesus.
Jesus is a historical figure, accepted by historians and even by theologians of other faiths. It is indisputable that he lived around 2000 years ago. But what did he say about himself?
Jesus said, 'I have come so that they might have life, and have it to the full' (John chapter 10, verse 10). By this he was explaining that, through him, all people are able to find meaning and fulfilment for their lives.
But the good news comes at a price. Jesus continued 'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep' (verse 11).

There are three steps to becoming a Christian:

  • ThanksThank God for sending Jesus to earth and dying on the cross for you. Thank him for the offer of complete forgiveness and for a fresh start in life in a new relationship with him.
  • SorryAsk God to forgive you for not living in the way he intended. The Bible uses the word 'repentance' which means to turn away from and renounce everything we know is wrong in our lives. Pause for a moment to consider some specific wrongs. Admit the things that you don't even like to admit to yourself.
  • PleaseGod will not force himself on you. His design for us was one of free will. But when you accept God's gift and invite him to come into your life, he will respond to that call. God wants to be number one in your life. And he gives his Holy Spirit to help and guide.

FAQ:  How can I join The Salvation Army?
Salvation Army meetings (church services) are open to all. You don't have to be a Salvationist to attend; you'll be welcome to share in our Christian worship.
Becoming a Salvation Army soldier however (member) involves a commitment to a relationship with God and to living a Salvationist lifestyle, so it's a serious matter.
The first requirement for anyone who wishes to become a soldier is that they are 'saved' - they have asked God to forgive their wrong attitudes and actions, they ask Jesus into their life and, with his help, determine now try to live a life that is pleasing to him.
Before anyone becomes a soldier they attend a series of informal 'classes' when, with a Salvationist whose responsibility it is to care for those wishing to become soldiers, they study Salvation Army beliefs and what a Salvationist lifestyle is like. These classes may be held for one person only or for a group of people, depending on such things as how many wish to become soldiers, convenience of times. Those who are attending such classes are known as 'recruits'.
Having completed these classes, if anyone doubts whether it is right for them to become a soldier they may prefer to delay it or decide against soldiership altogether. If the decision to be a soldier still stands, then recruits' names are presented to the corps pastoral care council for acceptance as soldiers. A public ceremony of swearing-in as a soldier is then held, usually during a regular Sunday meeting.
If people do not want to take on the commitment of soldiership, but still wish to make The Salvation Army their church, they may become adherents instead.
Helping with our work
Often there are openings for people to share in our work as volunteers. You don't have to be a Salvationist - or even a Christian - for this; but clearly you would need to be in sympathy with the aims and motivation of The Salvation Army. 
 
FAQ:  Why don't Salvationists drink, smoke or gamble?
Salvationists believe that once we have entered into a relationship with God our lives become his temple, and so we must try to adopt a lifestyle that is beneficial to our well-being. Body, mind and soul are closely interrelated and what has an adverse effect on one may well affect the other.
Alcoholic drink
The misery and poverty of London's East End, which was often exacerbated by excessive drinking, led the Army's Founders to regard drink as a social evil. They made total abstinence from alcohol a condition of membership because abstinence rather than moderation seemed to them to be the most effective answer to the tragedies caused by drunkenness and alcoholism.
Today, tragedies caused through excessive drinking are no less in evidence, and the Army feels it would be hypocritical to come alongside and try to help in such situations unless its own members practised abstinence from that which was the root cause of these problems.
The Army would not judge people who see no harm in drinking in moderation. However, in a society where much social and business interaction revolve around alcohol, a positive stance is made by Salvationists that it is not necessary to rely on alcohol to feel confident, communicate with others or enjoy oneself. 
Smoking
In an age before the dangers of smoking were known, the Founders regarded tobacco as injurious to health, a waste of money and a disagreeable thing to inflict on others. For that reason Salvationists were at first discouraged, and subsequently forbidden, to smoke. History has proved William and Catherine Booth's views correct.
Drugs
Of course Salvationists, along with all right-thinking people, abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or addictive substances.
Gambling
Christians believe that our lives are in God's hands. Gambling is based on luck and chance and contradicts this belief. Gambling can be addictive, causing misery to the families of those caught in its web. Salvationists want to distance themselves from anything that can be the cause of so much harm. Nor would we be happy at making gain through other people's loss, the principle on which gambling operates.
When asked to support a lottery or raffle in aid of charity, Salvationists are free to support by making a donation instead. Salvationists do not regard their abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and gambling as a negative lifestyle, but rather we believe that it gives us the freedom to be the people God intended us to be.
 
FAQ:  What is a Salvation Army meeting like?
Salvationists, and everyone who wishes to join with us either on an occasional or regular basis, meet to worship God, to discover how to live as Christians and to enjoy each other’s company. Many people attending an Army meeting for the first time find the informal style of worship refreshing and relaxing. On going into a Salvation Army hall you will discover there is a cheerful bustle before the meeting as people greet and chat to each other. The band will play  before the meeting begins. Other types of musical instruments used may include piano,  guitar, string and percussion. Salvation Army meetings don’t have a set order of service. They usually include plenty of hymn singing, and there may be group or individual music items. Occasionally a dance or drama group may be used to help with the worship. Verses from the Bible are read in every meeting. While an officer usually leads the meeting and gives the ‘address’ (sermon), other people can do both or may be invited to take part by praying, reading out verses of hymns or from the Bible, or by talking about their Christian experience (Testimony). All these factors help to give Salvation Army meetings their own special character.


FAQ:  If my children would like to attend the Sunday School or Kids Alive! Do they have to be Salvationists?
Thousands of children round the world attend our Sunday schools and other young people’s activities. While we are happy if, with their parents’ permission, they choose to become junior soldiers (junior members) of the Army, there is no pressure on them to do so, and many do not. We believe all children are important to God, and so our priority is to give all children who attend our Sunday schools a grounding in Christian belief and conduct. We believe it gives them a good foundation for their adult lives. From the age of 14 onwards, young people are given the choice whether they wish to become senior soldiers (adult members) of The Salvation Army. If they decide this is what they want, in a series of classes they will first have explained to them exactly what is involved. If young people decide not to become members, we encourage them to continue to think of us as their ‘church’ and still join in worship or other activities.
 

FAQ:   If The Salvation Army is a Church, can you conduct Weddings?
Salvation Army Officers are ordained Ministers of Religion. We conduct Marriages, Funerals and Dedications of Children (Christenings). If you need more information, please feel free to contact us.

 

FAQ: Is it possible to hire the hall for functions /meetings?
The Commercial section is currently under construction.   

The Salvation Army

Felixstowe Corps
Cobbold Road
Felixstowe
IP11 7EL
 
Tel: 01394 276502
 
Email: info@felixsa.org.uk
 

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 11:8

The upright man is taken out of trouble, and in his place comes the sinner.

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