Bishops Trevor Willmott and Nigel Stock involved in Dover Castle Service to mark handover of garrison church to Diocese and closure of 2 (South East) Brigade

On Thursday 4 December, a special service was held at the garrison church of Dover Castle (St Mary in Castro) to hand over the church to the Diocese of Canterbury and to mark the closure of 2 (South East) Brigade.

During the service the Bishop to Her Majesty’s Forces, the Right Reverend Nigel Stock blessed and dedicated a plaque to commemorate 2 (South East) Brigade, which is being amalgamated into 11 Infantry Brigade based in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Attended by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, The Right Honourable Mark Francois, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Michael Boyce and senior Commanding Officers from the Army, including Major General Robert Nitsch, General Officer Commanding Support Command and the Chaplain General, The Revd Dr David Coulter, the service celebrated over 100 years of military service by 2 (South East) Brigade.

Commander, Brigadier Chris Claydon said: "In its current incarnation, 2 (South East) Brigade, dates back to 1902 when the brigade was raised in Aldershot.” He continued: “We are now closing the brigade at the end of a long period when it has been involved in every major conflict the county has been involved in, but also serving communities back in the UK."

The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, gave an address in which he paid tribute to the brigade and the Army service at Dover Castle. He said: “The Army will continue to be prayed for in this place.”

Welcoming the worshipping community of St Mary in Castro more fully into Canterbury Diocese, Bishop Trevor added: “The community here will continue to make whole all that is broken, so that no-one is forgotten. We are in the third millennia of ministry in this church and we shall ensure it remains a place of community service, and that it continues to offer welcome and a message of hope and reconciliation.”


Further information from:

Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Canterbury Diocese 01227 459 401, 07876 210 446,

Photos show:

  1. L-R Padre Daniel Merceron, Senior Chaplain 2 Bridgade, (now PiC of the Benefice of Alfriston with Lullington, Litlington and West Dean in Chichester Diocese), Archdeacon for the Army, the Ven Peter Eagles, Padre Duncan Weaver (now Senior Padre of 11 Brigade Kent), Bishop Nigel Stock (Bishop to the Forces), Bishop Trevor Willmott (Bishop of Dover) and Chaplain General, Revd Dr David Coulter.

  2. Bishop Nigel Stocks dedicating the plaque to 2 (South East) Brigade