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The Rockin' Rev November 2020

ROCKIN REV

Remembrance

On Sunday the 20th of September 2020, Westminster Abbey marked the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication. The one hundred and twelve-day fight for control of Britain’s skies, between July and October 1940, was the first decisive battle in history fought entirely in the air. It proved to be a dramatic turning point in the 2nd World War
 
The service included an Act of Remembrance during which the Battle of Britain Roll of Honour was borne through the Abbey, escorted by serving Royal Air Force pilots and aircrew, and placed beside the High Altar. The roll contains the names of 1,497 pilots and aircrew killed or wounded during the Battle
 
The Address was given by the Venerable (Air Vice-Marshal) John Ellis, Chaplain-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force, who spoke of the dedication and sacrifice of the Battle of Britain generation. He concluded his address by saying:

“Today our gratitude, our thanksgiving focuses on those who fought 80 years ago. Those who still inspire the Royal Air Force of today, a force which continues to protect our nation with sacrificial service. We are not here, however, to passively honour their efforts but to commit ourselves to serve with determination and courage for all that is right and true”

 
Earlier in his address, the Chaplain-in-Chief, reflecting on the present circumstances we find ourselves in, said this:

“Like so many things in our lives over the past months, today's thanksgiving and rededication is different. A difference that is determined by our fight against an invisible enemy, COVID-19. And once again we have a front line, one that has seen a great cost borne by the National Health Service and its support staff as well as countless key workers. Once again there have been sacrifices made, often quiet, often humble and unnoticed by many”

 
REMEMBRANCE 11-2020 GCMThe common themes throughout the Chaplain-in-Chief’s address were: courage; sacrifice; and service.  Without these qualities we are less-than human and certainly less-than Christian

The example of Christ challenges us all to act in the interest of others rather than of ourselves. And so, we each must ask ourselves - to what degree is my life built around the principle of selfishness rather than that of selflessness? As new coronavirus restrictions are applied, how do I respond selflessly and how might I respond to the selfishness of others?

The occasions for Remembrance during this month of November will provide us with times of gratitude for what was achieved in the darkest moments of war

 

Rev Brian Hall

Vicar, St Andrew’s Church

 

also published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 


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