A View From The Park

 Four Years of Remembering

Many will remember the powerful and evocative red ceramic poppies that flowed down the walls of Windsor Castle covering the floor of the moat. Further poppy displays were taken to other venues around the country and finally individual poppies were made available to the public.  These events heralded the start of a four year period that has covered the horrific years of the World War 1.
Over the last four years there have been a number of WW1 anniversaries.  One of these was reflected upon during 8th August’s ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4 - the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Amiens.  Amiens, which is recognised as being the beginning of the end of the war, lasted 100 days during which the allies pushed home an advantage compelling the Germans to surrender.
The last surviving combat soldier of WW1, Harry Patch, died aged 111yrs on 25th July 2009. It wasn’t until he was 100yrs old that the veteran of Ypres began to speak of the horrors he had experienced and seen. Many veterans chose not to speak of their experiences at all.  

   A Season to Remember

Preparing to mark the end of the WW1 on Sunday 11th November we, along with the Fulford Branch of the Royal British Legion, are considering how best we could mark the Armistice on Remembrance Sunday at St Oswald’s.

Padre, Captain Williams of 2 Signals Regiment brought to our attention the project ‘There But Not There’.  The following two quotes come from the ‘There But Not There’ website:

“The poppies at the Tower of London captured the start of the national WW1 commemoration - There But Not There will be the abiding concluding image.”  
                                                                    General the Lord Dannatt GCB VCBE MC DL Patron

“I do commend this creative and imaginative project very warmly. I hope that many churches will want to engage with this during this next year. As we commemorate the end of the First World War it is vital that we remember and this project allows us to do so in a way that will engage with the imagination and be a real exercise in remembrance.”
                         The Most Reverend & Right Hon. The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

And so St Oswald’s applied successfully for an award from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust which has provided ‘There But Not There’ Perspex Silhouettes. From Sunday 16th September six perspex Silhouette figures will be placed inside the church to encourage church members and the wider community to take time to come and stop, remember, reflect and pray.
A prayer has been written to use if anyone wishes to do so.

   ‘There But Not There’: Harvest 1918 - 2018
We are in the process of also arranging a special Harvest Festival Service which we hope members of Imphal Barracks, St Oswald’s School and others will take part. Further details later.
Remembering is one of the precious gifts God has given us. During this Season to Remember, let us not forget all who work for peace and look to Christmas when we will be celebrating God’s gift of the Prince of Peace in the birth of Jesus, our Saviour and Friend.   




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