The email below, just received from James Condon of the Salvation Army, is not a surprise. Oddly, it doesn’t even hurt. Did I bring this on myself with my adversarial stance? Yeah, probably. Was I right to be angry? I think so. Does this mean I give up? Not a chance. Your email is proof that you and the Salvation Army still don’t ‘get it’, James. Don’t pray for me. Pray for your organisation.
Subject: Support from the Salvation Army
Thank you for your heartfelt letter. You have raised several issues which The Salvation Army is wrestling with, including the matter of restitution.
As you know, when the Homie’s program was televised, our policies were not adequate to meet the just claims of people such as your Father. We are very sorry that he did not receive an appropriate response then, or sooner.
Eventually, we did establish better policies. We instituted an approach we call People First. It was after that, that your Mother (I believe) wrote to Major Peter Farthing, asking if the Army could not provide a better and more just response to your Father. As a result of that, Peter and his wife Kerrie went to see your Father. He recounted to them his awful experiences. He explained how they had impacted his life. They gave an unreserved apology on behalf of The Salvation Army. They also reached an agreement on an ex-gratia payment “as a tangible expression of our regret”.
Later, your Father wrote, pointing out how badly the experiences had affected his whole family. In response, Peter Farthing wrote to yourself, Alwyn and Julia.
We do believe, therefore, that some effort had been made to listen; to express goodwill; and to make a small restitution.
I am continuing to remember you in prayer, along with members of your family, as you move through the journey of grief following the loss of your Father.
Thank you again for writing.