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Vicar's Letter

November 2017

Dear Friends & Neighbours,

So where did that year go? It seems to have sped past and yet so much memorable stuff has happened along the way. November is a traditional time for remembering, for remembering our armed forces in particular. And next year will be particularly poignant as it marks 100 years since the end of the first World War. Each week we remember our Armed Forces in our prayers at Church, especially those who are abroad preserving our security and helping others, as well as the families that they have left at home to do so.

While away recently I learned of some other heroes that were involved in the Second World War. While Gibraltar was for the most part emptied of its residents, 5,000 people were brought in from England, Wales and Canada. They mined approximately 1% of the entire Rock of Gibraltar, building hospital wards, storage areas, dual carriageways and accommodation for Messrs Eisenhower and Montgomery. Sixteen hour days in damp conditions, with a glass of water and fifteen minutes of fresh air each day, the task was completed ahead of time but with the loss of 3,000 of those poor souls in the process.

My guide was a young woman with a passion for her home and its history. As a youngster she would tag along with earlier tours. Some of the tourists she accompanied were relatives of those who had lived and worked and died for the greater good. Just as every Formula One Driver and medical professional needs a good team of support staff, so it is with our armed forces. Something that Gareth Malone brought home to some extent with his Military Wives Choirs. Of course remembering isn't limited to the sorrow of loss. It is also an opportunity to give thanks for what that loss, that price achieved.

As a Christian, I look forward to meeting and thanking those who gave their lives for the peace and the freedom that we enjoy, for the innovation and invention that hard pressed men and women were able to achieve, having done so in some of the most difficult circumstances that any human being may have had to experience. I also look forward to meeting those, who they thought it was all worth doing it for. Its for this reason that the words 'A life without Christ is a hopeless end, yet life with Christ is an endless hope' carry so much depth and meaning. He's the reason for the Season next month, but more of that next time. For now, however you choose to remember important moments in history, it is my prayer that they leave you for the most part, thankful for our past and hopeful for our future.

With best wishes and prayers

Bill

If you have anything that you would like our village prayer group to pray for please telephone 790088 or
email :villageprayers@gmail.com