Remembrance Sunday at St John’s Church is always very well attended. For the last seven years I have been there watching people congregate and squeeze in. More often than not it is standing room only. We have the Mayoral party, our local MP, many representatives of the Armed Forces and from the Scout Movement and of course many others who join us for the service. I have love to see the church as full as it can be and hear Chris play the most incredible improvisation as the collection plate going round takes far longer than any hymn will allow for! I love singing at these services and I have been honored to play an organ voluntary or two for it. After the service we move to the war memorial just outside the church for a ceremony before the wreaths are laid by representatives of local organisations. We hold a two minute silence both in the church service and at the war memorial, both offering a chance to reflect.
This year of course things were very, very different. Wreaths were laid earlier in the week with very little ceremony and the service at St John’s was recorded earlier in the week and streamed through Facebook.
So, for the first time in 8 years I sat at home and watched the service at the cenotaph. Whilst it was shorter than normal and the crowds weren’t there to pay their respects or watch and support, I found it really very interesting and moving to watch. I am not sure I have ever taken advantage of watching the highlights of the event later in the day, probably only watching excerpts on the news, if at all. I will certainly try and watch it in full when life returns to ‘normal’.
Covid continues to dominate the news and people offer their opinion on restrictions, tests, vaccines, what the Government do or don’t do and more. It seems to me that many moan about what has been taken from us as a result of Covid. I hope it goes without saying, my sympathies are of course with all those who have loved ones who have had their lives impacted as a result of it, who are ill or who they have lost. However, for those of us who think we have it tough with Covid restrictions, I think we should remember we’re so very lucky in comparison with those who have lived through or live now with war as part of their ‘new normal.