Weekly Reflection – Remembering

08 November 2023

One of the most interesting things to happen in the thirty or so years I’ve been a churchgoer is something that hasn’t happened. By the time I was at university at the end of the 1990s, Remembrance Sunday was feeling rather precarious; attendance at Remembrance Day services was dropping, and in particular there seemed to be far fewer young people going. Perhaps this was because, for people my age, the memory of major international conflict was something only our grandparents knew.

Perhaps because there have been so many wars – Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s, Ukraine and the Holy Land in the 2020s – international conflict is now much more real than it seemed back then. And of course generations like mine have seen people of our age, from our communities, fighting and sadly dying.

So Remembrance Sunday is now once more a focus of much wider attention. It is good to to give thanks for those who have sacrificed much for our freedom, both in the global conflicts of the twentieth century and more recent conflicts; to pray for those who now serve our country; and also with the families of service personnel, who are often overlooked. As we remember, we also pray for all those who suffer in the conflicts in the headlines and those which don’t even register in our news. And we ask for mercy and peace for all the human family, children, as we all are, of one heavenly Father.

With prayers and best wishes,

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Wakefield Cathedral

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