Rector’s Letter – November 2018
November this year is particularly significant as it is the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. There are number of special activities to mark this anniversary in the benefice. Acts of Remembrance in Church and at War Memorials, Bell ringing, beacon lighting and informal services and gatherings, all giving us an opportunity to reflect on this significant event in our national story.
We start in the benefice with a Gathering to Reflect at Luxborough Church at 6.30pm on Thursday 8th November. This will be in the style of other Luxborough Gatherings and include readings, poems, music and songs chosen by local people expressing their thoughts about Remembrance.
On Friday 9th November, the schools in Cutcombe and Exford will join local people at their War Memorial so that the children have an opportunity to be involved in an Act of Remembrance on the nearest previous school day. There will be appropriate readings, exaltations and prayers and the two minutes silence, which the children in both schools observe each year so respectfully; a great credit to their schools, their families and an encouragement to all present.
On Sunday 11th there will be Remembrance Services in Withypool and Winsford Churches at 10.45am. These are traditional services with all the readings, prayers, hymns and pageantry you would expect, and the silence at 11am, with the Last Post and Reveille, which this year will be so poignant. They are very special occasions observed with proper reverence in our community.
Following these services a number of people are planning to gather at their village War Memorial at 12noon. Please check locally to see what your village is doing. At 12.30pm across the country people are invited to ring the bells as they would have been rung in celebration of the Armistice. A number of towers in the Exmoor Benefice will be ringing at 12.30pm. Please check details with local tower captain.
At 5pm in Exford Church there will be an informal service of Holy Communion which will give an opportunity to join in that important aspect of church life, the celebration of hope in dark times offered in the life and death of Jesus and the mysterious yet irreducible light of life in the Resurrection, given physical form in the bread and wine of communion, the signs of the new relationship with God made possible by Jesus. Here will be a chance also to reflect quietly on the significant themes of the day and our response to them.
At 6.30pm are invited to gather on Winsford Hill at Wambarrows for the lighting of a beacon at 6.55pm. There will be some readings and the Last Post and Reveille and an opportunity to think about how our predecessors one hundred years ago would have felt at seeing the beacons which heralded the news that the War was over: the long awaited glimpse of light in the darkness of those days.
In the week before the 11th all churches have been asked to keep a light on in the church as a reminder in each village of this important anniversary approaching. It would be great if some of the benefice churches could take part in this expression of Remembrance too.
Together these events and services offer us all a chance to fully enter into this special Remembrance Year as individuals and as a community. Everyone is welcome.
All the best, David