Sunday November 8th at St Peter’s Church

On Sunday 8th November Remembrance Sunday we worshipped at St Peter’s Church. I went inside the church to be quiet, having walked down; most parking spaces had been taken over for the Cenotaph Act of Remembrance, so it was easier to walk. Most of our more disabled members stayed at home as it was difficult to access parking spaces near our chapel. For this reason we had decided to worship with the Anglican Church. There were prayers at the Cenotaph with a Bible reading from Matthew 5.1-12. There was a band at the Cenotaph who played the ‘Last Post’ before the silence and ‘Reveille’ after the silence, when there was wreath laying. The Kohima Epitaph was read at the end before there was a march past of the band before the Civic Party moved into St Peter’s to join us. I wore a red and a white poppy, as I want to work to promote peace and an end to the slaughter and destruction of war. I remembered the civilians who died and continue to die in the wars which proliferate. I just pray that the readings we hear each Armistice Day might make us all work for world peace; justice and a fair distribution of the world’s resources.
We sang, ‘Christ triumphant, ever reigning,’ before prayers including the prayer of confession. We then heard the reading from Micah 4.1-8 before the choir sang the ‘Te Deum’ (Stanford in B flat), followed by the reading from 1 Corinthians 15.50-58. We sang ‘I vow to thee, my country.’ We stood for prayers and the Act of Remembrance. Then we heard the anthem, ‘Greater love hath no man’ (Ireland) before prayers were said. We sang, ‘King of glory, King of peace’. The Revd David Cleese, the Mayor’s chaplain preached on those who suffered and died in war but spoke of the start of the Welfare State following World War 2, and how lives had been improved since it was instated. Our final hymn was ‘Crown him with many crowns’ followed by the National Anthem.
If we really could take seriously what Micah prophesied, 4.3 ‘He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nor will they train for war anymore’; just think of the money which could be spent to improve the life conditions of the poor with better education for life skills and practical skills we so badly need and not just trying to make everyone academic! I am glad we are all different and some people have such wonderful creative and practical skills I don’t possess. We need the wonderful variety of people we have and we need to stop testing children so young that they give up on education, as they experience failure so young. Please can people listen and learn that we need those with practical skills and we need to pay carers more and give them the time they need to give a good quality of life to those they care for. Surely we would all love to be cared for properly even if we weren’t rich and wouldn’t we feel better if we knew that our carers, our doctors, our nurses, our social workers, our police, our judges and magistrates had the resources they needed to do their work. Unfair punishments which punish the poor far more than the rich will not make for a stable country. I pray for a more caring country and I know it starts with me.

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