It was wonderful to see so many people in church at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 11th November for our special Remembrance Day service. Alongside our regular worshippers was an excellent turn out of Guides and Brownies and their families. In addition there were many for whom this is an important occasion for remembering, and honouring, loved ones and others that have given so selflessly that we might have the safety and freedom that we are privileged to enjoy.
During our first hymn, “Eternal Father Strong to save”, the Guides and Brownies presented their colours at the front of the church.
We then all prayed:-
Lord, Direct our thoughts,
teach us to pray,
lift up our hearts
to worship you in Spirit and in truth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Jeremy then led us in Prayers of Penitence after which Rachel read to us from the Bible – Hebrews 11 v 11 – 16.
We then affirmed our faith and were led in prayers for other people before we sang our next hymn, “Fight the good fight”. During this hymn, Donald came out with a wreath that, escorted by two Brownies, and followed by Jeremy, he paraded to the war memorial at the back of church.
Then during our “Act of Remembrance” the names of the war dead of Birkdale were read out before David played the “Last Post” and we maintained the traditional 2 minutes silence. The silence was broken with Jeremy saying:-
“They shall grow not old, as we who 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;”
after which we all echoed,
“We will remember them”
before David sounded “The reveille”.
“The act of remembrance” concluded with Donald placing the wreath on the War memorial.
Then we all exchanged “The Peace” before Jeremy led us in Prayers for world peace.
Appropriately, we then sang the lovely, moving hymn, “Make me a channel of your peace”.
During his talk John began by summarising the themes that we have been discussing throughout the autumn;- Beginnings; Prayer; God still speaks [during which he remembered, our new Archbishop, Justin Welby’s visit to
St. John’s (many years ago) – probably
the only time an Archbishop of Canterbury has ever visited !]; Being
a signpost; and finally His
infernal majesty before
arriving at this week’s subject – Faith - a very
appropriate subject for Remembrance Sunday. St. John’s
John quoted from our reading – Hebrews 11 v 13 –
‘All these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them’.
He discussed the successes and failures of war and the faith that those who fight must necessarily have in their leaders. He reminded us that, in the words of Psalm 146, the Bible says “Do not put your trust in Princes, in mortal men who cannot save”
and that Jesus said, “do not let your hearts be troubled, Believe in God, believe also in me.”
John concluded that the message is clear, there are two things to do. He put them up on the screen.
The service ended with the collect for the day, The Lord’s Prayer and The National Anthem before the organisations collected the colours whilst we sang the final hymn, “One more step along the road I go”.
Following the Blessing most of the worshippers went into the hall for
provided by the guides,
and catch up with each other.