A message from the Rev’d Diana Netherway, Assistant Curate and Parish Deacon

Posted by Admin on Friday, 28th October 2016, 00:36

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Dear friends
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November is a time for remembering both in the Church Calendar and in the secular society. Among the most notable are :-

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Nov 1st: All Saints Day but celebrated in church on Sun 6th this year, where we are invited, through the special “Prayer of the Day” to “follow the blessed saints in all virtuous and Godly living.”

Nov 2nd: All Souls Day when we remember those whom we love who have died and others in the parish whose funerals have taken place during the year. The remembrance of loved ones can be painful for some and bring emotions that have been suppressed for some time. So it can be a time of sadness, but also a time to give thanks for all the happy memories of lives shared and lived together in love. Rev’d Amanda usually offers this service at a date in December with a Remembrance Tree on which to place names of loved ones.
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Nov 5th: Guy Fawkes Night – ‘Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot, I know of no reason, why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot!’
Guy Fawkes night is unlike other festivals because instead of remembering something that happened, it celebrates something that DIDN`T happen!  For his part in the conspiracy to blow up parliament and to assassinate King James 1st, Guy Fawkes goes down in history as a condemned villain, and by 21st century standards, a political terrorist. Hence the huge bonfires and loud fireworks to remind us of what might have been had Fawkes succeeded.
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Nov 11th: 11am we will again observe 2mins silence across our country as we remember with grateful thanks those who lost their lives amongst much more deadly explosions in two Great Wars and in the subsequent conflicts on foreign soil, defending the freedom of others. And on Remembrance Sunday (Nov 13th) there is the opportunity to gather together along with members of the uniformed organisations, to remember all those, including the many civilians who have died in wars.
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The poppies which grew in Flanders fields have become the symbol for those who fell in action. Its different parts have both spiritual and earthly symbolism. From a secular point of view it has been described in this way – the black centre reminding us that conflict often starts with human greed, unfairness and wrong doing; Red petals to remember the suffering and bloodshed of war; The leaves to remind us how fragile life is – and that it can be blown away just as easily as the leaves which fall from the trees in Autumn; Finally, the stem helps us to remember that war is not just about great armies and powerful weapons, but also about ordinary people who gave their lives in the fight for justice, peace and freedom.  Spiritually though it has a different symbolism – the petals are the symbol of the blood of Christ shed on the cross and remind us that there is nowhere in the world that God’s love cannot reach us. The leaf is a great symbol in the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, in which we are told that God will heal all wounds. Finally, the poppy in bloom reminds us that however tragic and terrible war can be, hope can bloom again if we allow God’s love to transform the dark moments at the centre of our lives. Those places where quarrels and fighting begin.
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So as we look back and remember this month I would encourage you to also look forward and learn from stories from the past and be committed to doing our part in building relationships of peace, justice and love in our homes, schools, within our church families and in the world.
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Many blessings

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Diana

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