We will remember them

Remembrance Sunday Sermon
St Mary’s Marlborough, 11th November 2018

PoppiesIt is good to see so many people here this morning: the Mayor and Town Council, members from the Fourth Military Intelligence Battalion, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, Air Cadets and people from the Town. Thirty years ago, it was generally assumed that people would slowly lose interest in Remembrance Sunday, as fewer and fewer of us have lived through, let alone fought in, a war.

However, as we have commemorated the centenary of the First World War, the last four years have seen a renewed interest in the lives and stories of those who fought and died in the trenches. In many ways, I think that I, we, have very little authority to speak about them and their experience. Those who were there at the time and survived, were often unable to speak about what had happened, as it was too horrific to put into words, and so I would like to suggest that we can only do so, because we don’t know what it was like.

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“I feel what these plants feel”

A reflection for the season of All Saints’ and Remembrance

Today, 1st November, we celebrate All Saints’ Day. Today, we give thanks and remember the lives of the saints and tomorrow, on what is called All Souls, we have an opportunity to remember all those who have died, particularly those who have loved, encouraged and inspired us. So, this week marks the beginning of a time of remembering in Britain, as, coincidentally, it is also the time that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the House of Lords on 5th November 1605, and the First World War ended on 11th November a century ago.

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Why do we remember? What is the point, is it not something that prevents us from looking forward, as we continue to look to the past? I found a moving and profound answer to these questions in a recently published book, which I read last week.  It is called “War Gardens” and it is written written by Lalage Snow, a writer, filmmaker and photographer. Over a period of about six years, she went to different areas of conflict, such as Kabul, Ukraine and the West Bank, and interviewed people who had a garden. She asked them why they kept a garden going at a time of war and oppression, and what their gardens meant to them.

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From where will our help come?

Sermon St Mary’s Marlborough 5th November 2017

All Souls: A service of prayers and readings to remember those who have died

Psalm 121 & John 20.11-18

Jakub_Schikaneder_-_All_Souls'_Day

For many of us this afternoon it was not easy to come here. Even though the decision to come to the service may have been straightforward, still, I suspect that many of us will have felt some hesitation when we set off. Because what we have in common this afternoon is that we are here to remember those who have died. And although we may feel that there is a lot to give thanks for, we are also faced with feelings of sadness and loss as we remember those who were, but are not longer with us. Continue reading “From where will our help come?”