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Dear Friends

 

They shall grow not old...

 

During the course of this month of November  communities throughout the country will be coming together to take part in acts of remembrance, focused largely on remembering those service men and women who have given their lives in time of war.  Here in Whalley, we will once again be joining together in a united service and procession to the cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.  But before that, the annual service of remembrance will have taken place at the old Calderstones chapel, followed by an act of remembrance at the War Graves Commission Cemetery.  One might imagine that such events would be becoming less well supported, but in actual fact, if anything numbers attending seem to have increased in recent years.

Earlier on this year I accompanied our former mayor Cllr. Joyce Holgate and a party from the Ribble Valley to unveil a plaque dedicated to service personnel from this borough, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.  It was a most moving occasion, although for me the most arresting experience that day was to see the thousands of names carved on the memorial dedicated to those whose lives have been lost since the end of WW2.

It would I think be very easy to be tempted to despair at humanities seemingly unending capacity for conflict.  Which is precisely why it is so important that the Church continues to play it's part, so that we might sound a sorely needed note of hopefulness in the face of sorrow and loss, using sentiments such as that penned by the author of the Book of Lamenataions:

'This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.'

Lamentaions 3.21-23

 

...at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

Jonathan