The office of Moderator gives the member churches of the Free Churches Group a representative at national and public events. The office is held for four years on election by the Group Meeting.
The Free Churches Moderator is one of the four Presidents of Churches Together in England, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and Bishop Nathan Hovhanissian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church in the UK.
Commissioner Elizabeth Matear - Moderator
A Territorial Commander for the Salvation Army in the United Kingdom, with the Republic of Ireland, along with her husband John. Betty was inducted as Moderator 2007-11 on 25th April 2007 at the William Booth Memorial College in Denmark Hill, London.
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Commissioner Elizabeth (‘Betty’) Matear was born in Scotland and raised in the Brethren Church, sensing the presence of God in her life from an early age. While studying in Glasgow Betty also linked up with the Church of Scotland, and then met The Salvation Army while working in the United States of America. On her return to the UK, Betty started working for The Salvation Army, became a soldier and very soon felt called to Salvation Army officership.
Commissioner Betty entered The Salvation Army’s International Training College in London to train for Christian ministry and it was there she met her future husband, John Matear.
After her commissioning as an officer Betty worked within The Salvation Army’s Social Services department at Greig House, a men’s hostel in London. Following marriage to John in 1978 the couple were church leaders across the UK including Goldaming, Reading, Hove and Chester-le-Street, before moving into youth work in Yorkshire.
During her long Christian ministry, which she has shared with her husband, Betty has also served in personnel appointments at both Salvation Army regional and national level. In 1999 the couple headed up the work of The Salvation Army in the East Midlands and then, in June 2001 the then Colonels John and Betty Matear moved to the Caribbean, where for five years they served as Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries respectively for the Caribbean Territory, comprising fifteen countries.
In 2006 they returned to the UK with the rank of Commissioner, when they were appointed as leaders of The Salvation Army’s UK Territory with the Republic of Ireland. Commissioner John Matear is Territorial Commander and Commissioner Betty Matear is Territorial President of Women’s Ministries.