A PEACE-seeking Falklands veteran has met a representative of an Argentinian pilot who sank a British ship during the 1982 war.

The Rev Martin Kirkbride, recently retired rector of St John’s Church, Wellington, and former Royal Navy officer, has been honoured with a stole from the Falkland Islands, where he served during the conflict.

Crafted by the charity Scarves for Falklands Veterans, it is made from Falklands wool and replicates the colour and pattern of the South Atlantic medal.

The gift recognises Martin's contributions during the conflict and in his subsequent work with veterans.

He is dedicated to fostering peace and reconciliation between the UK and Argentina.

He became a Christian after leaving the navy, then a minister and chaplain to HMS Coventry, which was sunk with the loss of 20 lives.

Martin began to make connections with Argentinian veterans in 2013, when a representative of the pilot responsible for the sinking of HMS Coventry met him at Coventry Cathedral to present a letter from the pilot.

During a visit to the Falklands that year, Martin met the pilot and together they remembered everyone killed in the conflict.

Martin was later invited by The University of Buenos Aires to be a speaker and a chaplain to a conference on the Falklands/Malvinas conflict.

He was asked to close the conference with the Coventry Prayer of Reconciliation, recited in English and Spanish.

Martin said: "It is my absolute privilege to work with Falklands veterans and we as a church have a lot to learn from them about reconciliation.

"We are good at forgiveness, but reconciliation is different. It is about truth and justice and there is often a price to pay and of course that is difficult, especially as that price is often paid for by the innocent.”

Recently, a dedication to honour those who died in the conflict was inscribed inside a newly commissioned lectionary Bible for St John’s Church.

The first person to read from it was a retired Commodore from the parish whose ship sustained damage during the war, resulting in the loss of two crew.

Although retired from church ministry, Martin remains committed to serving veterans.

Anyone who served in the Falklands or who had family members who served, can ask for a free scarf from Scarves for Falklands Veterans - there is a charge for postage.