On sunday, we held our joint memorial service at Mereworth church – which was very full with people from not only Mereworth but also West Peckham and Kings Hill. Many local people have fought and died in the First World War or later Wars, and West Malling was a critical RAF airbase in the battle of Britain. So there are lots of local connections to remind us.
The idea of remembering all the victims of war on the Sunday closest to 11th November (the day that World War One ended at 11am) can seem remote to many people. So we were lucky enough to have several local people who are serving in the Armed forces (or have sons in them), telling them what it all means. And if you wonder why there is sometimes a flag flying at Mereworth church, it is a reminder that someone from the parishes is serving abroad, and a reminder to remember them in your prayers…
The church also included the Scouts and other local groups, who read the prayers and helped lead the service.
The service finished outside, by the war memorial outside, with the Last Post, the reading of all the names from the Mereworth and West Peckham war memorials, and the laying of wreaths by local representatives.
We were also reminded that Remembrance Sunday is an unusual day in the church calendar as it is not connected with any specific biblical events (although the vicar reminded us that the Bible contains its share of war and battles from the Battle of Jericho onwards). It is a chance to remember those who have given their lives and entrust to God’s care those who continue to risk theirs. What did the service mean to you?