Outlook Issue 18 Winter 2014
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Lighting the Flame of Remembrance
Woodbridge British Legion held a special event on Kingston Field on 27 July this year, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. When the Flame of Remembrance was lit, this was the Rector’s prayer … We remember before God all who suffered during the First World War, both the 16 million who died and the 20 million who returned injured. We remember soldiers from all sides. We remember those who lost loved ones in this country, in Germany and other countries of Europe and the Commonwealth. We remember all families whose stories were changed by the events of 1914-1918. We remember before God all who left Woodbridge and surrounding villages to serve their country on land and sea and in the air. We remember the many young men who did not return and now lie in fields far from their homes. We remember the many who did return but whose lives were scarred by all they had seen. We remember the many Woodbridge families who grieved the loss of sons, husbands and fathers as telegrams brought them terrible news. We hold before God all the mistakes and bad decisions that led to the outbreak of the First World War. We hold before God the greed and self- interest and craving for power that closed people’s hearts and minds to Jesus’s command to love one another. We hold before God the waste of war and the pointless deaths of so many soldiers, civilians and horses. We hold before God all those who developed the cruel weapons that caused so much suffering, and all who made decisions that sent so many to die. We hold before God a world that is still at war today, 100 years later. We hold before God the many who suffer each day, particularly children traumatised by war. We hold before God all who encourage fighting and conflict, leaders and terrorists, rebels and militia. We hold before God all who still pursue historic disputes today and are unwilling to seek peace and reconciliation. We pray for all who are peace-makers today; for all who are in a position to speak words of peace and love. We pray for the United Nations and for governments across the world. We pray that the world may learn the lessons of the past and see the foolishness of war and the folly of conflict. We pray for a new blessing of peace on the world and its people. We hold ourselves before God today. As we remember the events of 100 years ago, may we be people determined not to allow such things to happen again. May our remembering of the years of the Great War inspire us to strive for peace; peace in the world, peace in our land, peace in our town, peace in our communities, peace in our families and peace in our lives. Lord God, we light this flame and remember