Salvation Army celebrates 150th birthday

Lieutenants Philip and Annemarie Cole. INLT 37-205-AM

Lieutenants Philip and Annemarie Cole. INLT 37-205-AM

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The Salvation Army in Larne held its Big Birthday tea party to commemorate its 150th anniversary on Wednesday September 16.

The tea party was held at the organisation’s Point Street headquarters, and featured an exhibition showing the organisation’s work over the years.

Lieutenant Philip Cole told the Times: “The Salvation Army’s Northern Division is 150 years old, while the Larne branch is 128 years old.

“Our organisation provides a lot of social services in the area, helping the homeless, elderly people, in other parts of the world we help with schools, we are a church and a place of worship, we provide activities for young people and children.

“In Larne we operate a drop-in centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it gives people the opportunity to come in and have a drink, keep warm and have a conversation.

“It’s for anyone who wants some companionships.

“On Wednesdays we have our weekly coffee morning event.”

Philip and his wife Lieutenant Annemarie Cole have been officers in the Salvation Army for three years, and came to serve in Larne two months ago.

“We both hold the same position in the church, it’s very fulfilling,” he revealed.

“At the end of the day we are making a difference.”

Larne’s Salvation Army is currently in the process of searching for a new building in the town centre area which the organisation can move into for a period of 9-12 months from next June while its Point Street headquarters are rebuilt.

“If anyone knows of a place they can help us with where we can run programmes from it would be great if they got in touch,” said Philip.

“The portacabins that we are in at the minute will be moved away and a new building will be put up in its place.

“We are just looking for somewhere practical, if there are a couple of side rooms too that would be ideal to run our community activities,” he added.

To contact the Salvation Army to offer assistance, telephone Philip on 07784915857.

For more information on the Salvation Army in Larne, visit: www.salvationarmy.org.uk/larne#church.