Remembrance Day service

Why is it so important we
continue to remember?


The joint annual Remembrance Day service at St John Parish Church on Sunday provided us with a chance again to remember the supreme sacrifice paid by the eight Bishop Monkton men who were killed in the two World Wars.

In her address Rev. Dr. Pat Malham explained the importance of continuing to hold Remembrance Day services and continuing to honour the fallen and strive for peace.

Before this the names of the fallen were read out by John Salmon, They are  Edwin Bowes, John Dennison Cussans, William Heath, Robert Lowther and John Richardson (from the First World War) and Reginald James Renton, Stuart Senior Renton and Arthur F. Walden (from The Second World War).

The reading of the names was followed, as always, by  an older person saying :

'They shall grow not old
as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn'.

Then a younger person said:

'At the going down of the sun and in the morning, 
we will remember them’..

And all affirmed: 
'We will remember them'.

Then following the laying of the wreaths which this year placed them at the front of the altar instead of in front of the War memorial which was out of bounds this year because it is still within an exclusion zones due to the risk of falling masonry.

Two of the wreaths were laid by descendants of two of the Bishop Monkton servicemen who lost their lives in the great wars.

Angie Archbold
laid a wreath in memory of her great uncle, Edwin Bowes who was killed in 1917 and Sally Linfoot laid another in memory of her grandfather, Sgt. Reginald Renton RAF, who was  killed in 1943.

Other wreaths were laid by Pam Brown (on behalf the Parish Council), Richard Houseman (on behalf of the Methodist Church),  David Ralphs (on behalf of the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy and the Fleet Air Arm Auxiliary) and Lesley Taylor (on behalf of Bishop Monkton Stitchers).

In a moving address Dr.. Malham explained the importance still of Remembrance Day and remembering.

Some people, she said, wondered why we still stopped to remember what happened so many years ago.

That might be an appropriate thought if we had enjoyed unbroken global peace since then but the reality is that conflict continues to be all too common in many parts of of the world.

‘Over the whole of the last century and all of the 21st century so far there has not been one single day of world peace, not one single day when all the nations were at peace, when somewhere in the world one human has not been killing another in war’, she said.

In addition, in the last decade alone 2 million children had been killed as a direct result of armed conflict.

Dr. Malham said that that in remembering we were doing three things:
  • Showing our gratitude for our deliverance and thankful for the sacrifice of others.    
  • Seeking forgiveness for the evil and sin that results in war.      
  • Renewing our dedication to work for justice and peace in the world.
Is there peace, she asked, in a world when there are 62 million people living as refugees, nearly one in 10 of the earth’s population, too frightened to return home or no longer having a home because someone else has taken it?

Is there peace when people are too frightened to go out into the street in case they are attacked because their skin is not the right colour, their racial background does not fit or theirs in not the right religion? 

Is there true peace when there is so much hatred and mistrust when people are exploited, where child labour affects about one in seven and when 60% of the world’s children work in hazardous conditions?

Dr. Malham reminded the congregation of the words of Jesus in his sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God’.

The service concluded with the singing of the National Anthem and a retiring collection to support the work of The Royal British Legion