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The purpose of the Cornelius Trust

The aim of the Trust is to propagate and develop the Christian faith within the UK Armed Forces and to encourage Christians and those wishing to consider the claims of the Christian Gospel.  In particular it aspires to serve active military, their spouses and dependants.   However, the Trust also has a concern for retired personnel and members of organisations such as the Reservist and Cadet Forces as well as Christians from the Armed Forces of other countries.

What happened to Badger House?

Cornelius Trust Background

The Trust was formed using monies from the Central Fund of the Officers’ Christian Union (now the Armed Forces Christian Union) with the principal intention of fulfilling the long term aim of propagating the gospel and providing rest and recuperation for Christians in the military.  Initially the Trust established a Christian Conference and Holiday Centre for members and Ex-members of the Armed Services, their dependants and friends.  Badger House in Shropshire became the single purpose of the Trust from 1994.  In 2005, Badger House was sold when it was no longer fulfilling the primary purpose directed towards Christians in the military.  The funds are now available to continue the long-term aim in ways that reflect contemporary military life.

Why is the trust called the Cornelius Trust?

The reason the trust used the name Cornelius was twofold and straightforward: Firstly, Cornelius was military; secondly, he brought together two different cultures for the first time under one roof as Christians (Jews would not normally step inside a Gentile's house without thereafter going through a purification ritual).  The aim was to bring together the two military 'cultures' ~ officers and other ranks.

Who was Cornelius?

Cornelius the Centurion is mentioned in the Book of Acts (chapters 10 and 11).  A centurion was a Roman army officer, theoretically in charge of a hundred men.  Cornelius was called a God-fearer, that is to say, he was a monotheist, a Gentile who worshipped the One God.  One day, as he was praying, an angel appeared to him and told him to send a messenger to Joppa and ask Peter to come and preach to him. Peter, meanwhile, was given a vision that disposed him to go with the messenger. When Peter had preached to Cornelius and his family and friends, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on the first Christians at Pentecost (Acts 2), and they began to speak in other tongues. Thus, there was ample evidence to convince Jewish Christians who hesitated to believe that it was the will of God that Gentiles should be brought into the Church.
Cornelius was the first Gentile converted to Christianity, along with his household, and Luke, recording this event, clearly regards it as of the utmost importance in the history of the early Church: the beginning of the Church's decision to admit Gentiles to full and equal fellowship with Jewish Christians.