Janet`s November 2018 letter to the Community

Dear Friends

Exactly one hundred years ago on the 11th November this year, the First World War came to an end.  It had been a brutal conflict.  The casualty figures are difficult to describe as different sources divide them differently, but it is estimated that deaths worldwide amounted to between 15 and 19 million, including over 800,000 deaths of military personnel from the then British Empire.  That so many of these were young men who should have had their lives in front of them can only be described as an appalling tragedy.

Was it worse than any other conflict in human history?  Perhaps not.  An article written for the BBC News website makes interesting reading.*  But it had a profound effect on society.  No family was unaffected and some were wiped out.  It may be that your parents or grandparents talked, or perhaps didn’t talk, about the effects on their family life and the trauma of communities when so many didn’t return home from conflict, or returned seriously wounded, physically or mentally.

We are commemorating this one hundredth anniversary by having our war memorial cleaned and restored, and the fence behind it replaced with something more fitting, so that it can continue to be a lasting witness to the appalling tragedy of both world wars, and the sacrifice made by so many.  Alongside these physical works there will be a project involving local children and young people in gathering memories from older people of the Second World War, and in researching the names on the First World War Memorial inside the church.  More details will follow, but if you would be interested in being part of this project, do please get in touch.

But above all, as we commemorate this 100th anniversary, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, let us give thanks for the relative peace in which we live here in the privileged west.  Let us at the same time commit ourselves to peace in our own lives: to the making of peace, and not just keeping the peace, in our families, workplaces and communities.  That would be an appropriate memorial.

With every blessing,


(*see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25776836)

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