From the Rector - November 2018

Dear Friends,

As the season of Harvest draws to a close you may well be feeling harvested-out! It's been the time of reflecting on abundance and that we are blessed with plenty.

And now in to November; a time of remembering in the church year.

The period from All Saints to Advent is a time when we are reminded of the fact that 'no Christian is solitary’. All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are days when we reflect on this sense of belonging and remembering.

On All Saints, we celebrate men and women in whose lives the Church as a whole has seen God at work. God's work of grace can be seen in the ordinary and extraordinary.

The services where we commemorate the faithful departed are a more local and personal way of remembering those whom we have loved and are no longer with us. They allow us to remember those whom we have known more directly, those saints in our lives who have nurtured us, who gave us life, and made us who we are.

Then we move to Remembrance Sunday, where we explore further the theme of memory, both corporate and individual, as we confront issues of war and peace, loss and self-giving, memory and forgetting.

This year marks the centenary of the Armistice to the First World War. Full peace would be declared months later in 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles. However, within 20 years, despite it supposedly being the war to end all wars, Europe and the rest of the world would be plunged into turmoil once again.

The two minutes silence at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month gives us pause for thought. We will give thanks for those who sacrificed their lives for the hope of a world in which freedom and justice reigned. We will take stock of the cost in deaths and lives shattered that war will always demand. We will pray for peace. Peace in our hearts and homes, and peace for all the world. 100 years after the guns fell silent and battle-hardened men wept at the waste of lives, we will mark the occasion in acts of remembrance across the Benefice.

So, November - a time of remembering, of reflecting, of moving towards a renewed hope as we prepare to celebrate the birth of God's son. A birth not announced in best BBC English on Radio 4, but by angels, to an unmarried teenager and her carpenter boyfriend. An announcement. made for each one of us, God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to save us. That's worth remembering.