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Welcome to the website of
The Lambfold Benefice

A group of five Anglican rural parishes

in the geographical centre of England

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NOVEMBER 2018

THE RECTOR WRITES

REMEMBRANCE

As most of you will already know November 11th this year, 2018, marks the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the Great War; when at ‘the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month’ the hostilities that had raged for 4 years and claimed so many lives ceased. Since that date each year the nation and communities throughout the world have observed an act of Remembrance with the traditional ‘two minutes silence’ at 11:00 hrs on 11th November. Since its inception the Annual Act of Remembrance has grown wider, now we remember not just those who fell in the Great War, but also those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Second World War, and those who have done so in more recent conflicts. It is an important day when we can and should take time to reflect and give thanks for those, who in the course of their duty to the Nation gave up their lives in the cause of justice and of peace.

‘Remembrance’ is more than just ‘remembering’ it has far wider and important connotations and meaning. ‘Remembrance’ is a not a word we often use every day. In everyday life, we say we ‘remember’ something like a friend’s birthday, or a particular personal or family anniversary, but ‘Remembrance’ is bigger than that. ‘Remembrance’ is something that can be shared. It is an important reminder of things, events and people past that unite us with one another.

Around 30 years ago there was a serious question as to whether Remembrance Sunday would survive. It was not uncommon to hear it argued that the whole process of laying wreaths at the cenotaph and the parade of veterans should be abandoned; that rituals such as these and local acts of Remembrance, kept us as a nation and as a people locked to the past; nobody I think would argue that way today. Remembrance Sunday says something vital about our sense of identity, our sense of mutual belonging, not only with those who have gone before us but also with those around us. Our obligation to honour the memory of those who have gone before us, especially those whose lives have been drastically foreshortened or marred by war; is all of a piece with our obligation to preserve for future generations the kind of society which has been nurtured in this land for many generations and which we received on trust, of which we are but stewards, to preserve and improve and pass onto future generations; -a society indivisible from its Christian origins and culture, however obscured those origins and that culture appear so much of the time.

As the centenary of the Armistice, 11th of the 11th, falls on a Sunday this year, as a Benefice we are joining together for a United Remembrance Service at St Martin’s Litchborough. The service will begin in church at 10:45 am and conclude at the War Memorial. Wreathes, commemorating the fallen from each parish will be laid at the altar in church as part of the service, and then, at the end of the service in church taken from the altar and laid at the War Memorial where a concluding Act of remembrance will take place. This will be followed (weather, mechanical and logistical issues permitting) by a fly past of vintage aircraft. I hope a fitting and united tribute and act of Remembrance to all who we will remember that day. As Laurence Binyon’s famous words (now such an integral and familiar part of the any Act of Remembrance) say:

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them’

Father Tim





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