Monday Fellowship: Is it possible to be a Christian in the Military?

Monday Fellowship is a monthly meeting at Bradford Cathedral which features a series of thought-provoking talks on a wide range of subjects. All are welcome to attend. The February meeting takes place on Monday 10th February from 2pm – 3:15pm in the Bradford Cathedral Parish Room and the talk will be delivered by Martin Cosgrove, covering the subject of ‘Is it possible to be a Christian in the Military’? We spoke to Martin ahead of the talk to find out more about what we can expect.

Martin Cosgrove

How did this topic come about?
I had the honour of laying the wreath at the Remembrance Day service in 2019 and afterwards someone challenged me about having served in Northern Ireland. After talking it over with the cathedral staff we thought it was worth talking about the topic as it’s not simple.

What I am going to do in this talk is bring out some of the big difficulties there are and how Christians make decisions about whether military service is right for them. Serving in the military is not a cut-and-dried issue; it’s a decision that has to be made with your conscience.

How was it serving in Northern Ireland in terms of being a person of faith?
Going to the local church and hearing hell and damnation for all Catholics preached from the pulpit, fuelling the tensions, was really enlightening.

I used to think, before I went to Northern Ireland, that it wasn’t a Christian problem: it was about the Republicanism and Unionism, and it was nothing to do with Protestantism and Catholicism.

I discovered when I went there that I was fundamentally wrong about that and I had been an apologist for the most appalling Christian behaviour emanating from the pulpit.

Will there be a chance for people to ask questions?
Yes, but I might not have the answers!

Finally, if you could sum up what to expect from your talk, what would it be?
The talk will help people to think again towards your own attitudes to people who decide to join the military and their attitudes towards politicians who take us to war.

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