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The Sound of Christmas

On Sunday evening, Pastor Armin Piepenbrink-Rademacher welcomed another full congregation to the 49th annual Anglo German Carol Service in the beautiful and serene Altstädter Nicolaikirche in centre Bielefeld. 

He was joined in worship by the Senior Catholic Military Padre in Germany, Father Ian Stevenson and welcomed Brigadier Ian Bell, Comd BFG, and senior civic and civilian dignitaries to the picturesque Altstadt of the city of Bielefeld. 

This uniquely contemporary service was a collaboration of both German and British carol traditions that, combined with the impressive church set a moving spiritual and festive scene. 

With support from Bielefeld Military Wives Choir and Bielefeld School Choir, one voice of unity rang out throughout Bielefeld’s German and British communities on this cold but heart-warming and beautiful night.

One-stop service

The MoD has announced that the Covenant Fund will work with The RBL and other charities to set up a one-stop service to better support the UK’s Armed Forces veterans community. 

The £2 million Veterans Gateway programme will help veterans find and access advice and support on a broad range of issues, including healthcare and housing

 The new service will provide a 24/7 phone number, with an empathetic and professional voice at the end of the line, a dedicated website and a mobile app to make it easier for former Service personnel to access support on a range of issues including housing, employability and health.

It will give veterans, regardless of age or location, a simple point of contact to turn to for advice and help in accessing an array of public, private and charitable services which are out there

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Simply Pull Up A Sandbag

Big-hearted - Phil Bennett is on a mission to help other former soldiers and serving military personnel with a social networking website called Pull Up A Sandbag, which aims to raise cash for Service charities through commercial advertisingFolks should not have to dig deep in their pockets or perform extreme feats of endurance to raise cash for Forces charities, reckons one-time soldier Phil Bennett.

That’s why he’s launched social networking website Pull Up A Sandbag, which aims to generate funds to support veterans purely through commerical advertising – so no one has to donate a penny.

The only hitch is, Phil needs current and former members of the Services to flock to his free website ( and register for it to work. The more people who join, the more advertisers he can attract, and the more cash can be raised.

He has been inspired by the phenomenal success of Facebook and intends to adopt the best elements of social networking to make a success of his “no gimmicks” venture.

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