11th November 2021: Remembering cover image

11th November 2021: Remembering

It's Remembrance Day, when we remember those who've died in service of their country, in the World Wars and also in more recent conflicts. This year the Royal British Legion are celebrating 100 years since the nation’s collective Remembrance traditions were first bought together; the poppy, two-minute silence, Armistice Day, the service for the Unknown Warrior, and the march-past at the Cenotaph. Above is our own poppy cascade at St Francis - do go and take a look. Many thanks to those who created it - it really helps us to remember and the school children are enjoying it too.

Somebody I was speaking to recently commented on how postive it is that there has been much more focus on remembering in recent years. When I was at school we did buy and wear poppies, but I'm not sure I knew why we had the symbol of a poppy, or what to reflect on in the silence. In our schools today there is so much more emphasis on telling the stories that have shaped us as nations and ultimately as individuals. I saw an example of that when I worked in Nepal. There, I was struck by how stories of the Gurkhas, their bravery and self sacrifice, shaped the national identity of the country in a most positive sense, inspiring others in these values. And more locally, as we hear of the resilience and bravery of those injured in Afghanistan, for example in the Invictus games, there is so much to inspire us.

Spoiler alert: we'll be thinking about the importance of remembering on Sunday. The Bible puts remembrance very high on it's list of priorities. Top on that list is the act of remembrance that Jesus asks us to continue today, recalling the ultimate sacrifice that He made, so that we might live in freedom and peace, as forgiven people, secure in our identity as much-loved children of God.

Find the rest of the newsletter here.

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