St. Peter’s Parish Church

Tilton on the Hill - Leicestershire


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REMEMBRANCE



    The one hundredth anniversary of the First World War causes us to think again about the meaning of Remembrance. A hundred years after the end of “the war to end all wars” no one has personal memory of it, but the Second World War and a succession of other wars, including those in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan, have continued to refresh a public need to acknowledge the sacrifice of our soldiers in war.

    Today, Remembrance, for most of us, is a matter of bringing to mind what we know of those who have died in past wars. But the nature of war has changed. Many are now bringing to mind the fact that far more civilians have died in wars than soldiers, especially in the second half of the twentieth century. You could also say that there seems to be a growing tendency to express regret at the loss of “enemy” lives in addition to the lives of our own; to recognise too the sacrifice of those who did not die in conflicts but who were physically maimed or traumatised by their experiences.

    We also have to recognise that today British society is changing. One hundred years ago the majority of people in Britain would have described themselves as Christian. Today’s society is significantly secular and increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-religious.

    In trying to draw lessons from past conflicts we have to face up to lots of challenging issues. Many wars today are continuing wars, military “interventions”, civil wars. It is however, still important regardless of cultural differences, to remember and honour all those who have died in the service of their country.

    November 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the war that was supposed to end all wars and while we acknowledge that, we also acknowledge that we suffer the scars and divisions not only of conventional warfare but of ongoing destructive violence and global terrorism.

    Amongst continuing conflicts and fragile peace we need, more than ever, to express the hope of Christ’s pure and peaceable kingdom, as well as the imagination and resilience to go on and on praying for peace all over the world and striving for reconciliation among all nations on earth.

    On Remembrance Day we shall bring our memories and our Remembrance to the cross of the man who did not die in vain. The crucified Jesus is a reminder of our great value and worth in the sight of God, and because of that man’s death and resurrection we have hope.



Susan Sills