This year’s Remembrance Day Service, on Sunday 10 November, was very special because it included, for the first time for many years, a parade of scouts and beavers along the High Street to the Church. The scouts together with a large crowd gathered around the memorial for the service, led by Rev. Ian Smith, to remember the dead as the names were read out by Simon Stranks, to observe the two minutes silence and to respect the laying of wreaths and crosses on the memorial. This year Major Bill Powers of the No.9 Commandos read the Kohima Epitaph and accompanied by three generations of his family laid a wreath.
Inside the Church, elegantly decorated with poppies, a congregation of 120 adults and 50 children watched as the scouts paraded in with their new flags, kindly provided by the Parish Council. These were blessed at the beginning of the service and then laid across the altar for the duration of the service. In his talk Ian Smith used the poppy as the basis for remembrance and peace. He said poppies are bright and cheerful flowers: enabling us to thank God for the lives of those who have died in war, remembering the joy they brought to families and friends, and all the good things they did for their home and their country.
Then, he said, look at the red petals: red reminds us of danger and harm. Ask God to be close to those who are still facing danger and give courage to the armed forces, and compassion to all who help others. He then said place your whole hand over the poppy: poppies are also fragile and need to be handled gently. God cares for those who are hurting and those who are sad and ask him to comfort all who have lost someone they love. Finally, he said, place a finger on the centre of the poppy: ask God to help us play our part in working for peace in the world. At the end of the service the scouts collected their flags and proudly paraded from the Church.