Popular chaplain retires after a decade of service

A long-serving airport chaplain who has supported employees and passengers at London Stansted for more than a decade is retiring from his role.

The Salvation Army's Major Sidney Pinches, who has worked for the chaplaincy since 2013, officially stepped down from his post at the end of January.

Sidney's retirement was marked by a gathering of airport colleagues, past and present airport chaplaincy members, and Salvation Army Divisional Commander, Major Howard Russell.

At the event, a framed picture of the airport was presented to Sidney, along with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Salvation Army.

Major Sidney Pinches said:

"Having the opportunity to serve as one of the airport's chaplains has been a true privilege. The airport sees more than 28 million passengers a year, not to mention 12,000 airport employees; sometimes all someone needs is a friendly face. Each day is different, and every time I turn up for a shift, I face the unknown. I've loved being a chaplain here and will miss it terribly."

Gareth Powell, London Stansted’s Managing Director, said:

"On behalf of all of my colleagues and stakeholders, I extend a sincere thank you to Sidney for all he has done for us over the last decade, and we wish him a very happy retirement. Over his tenure here, he has made countless friends and helped hundreds of passengers and colleagues, and he will be missed greatly."

Stansted Airport has six airport chaplains who provide pastoral care, support, and guidance to all airport employees and passengers. This diverse team of professionals has decades of experience listening to, supporting, and caring for people of all ages, beliefs, and backgrounds.