1 Nov 2022 • Articles
Every year in November, the village in which I lived as a child, held a firework party on the community playing fields. We would all wrap up warm in woolly hats, scarves and mittens (I remember it being much colder back then!) and drink tomato soup from polystyrene cups. Then, we would watch the huge bonfire and feel its heat before the highlight of the night, the firework display. In reality, I’m sure the rockets and roman candles weren’t very impressive, but they were enough to spark in me a lifelong love of fireworks and bonfire night.
I have been to many 5th November firework displays since but none quite compares to the live, silent, extravaganza of whizzes and bangs on the breakfast Radio Two program of the late, wonderful, Sir Terry Wogan. Perhaps you remember it too? He would describe passionately every sparkle, flash and tumbling cascade of colour going through his head. In an article for the Telegraph in 2011 reflecting on the shows Wogan commented “There were begrudgers who complained about the lack of parking and toilet facilities, and burnt-out fireworks on the carpet around the radio, but I like to think that there are some who remember, with a sigh, the solace of fireworks on the wireless”. Funny, the things we remember!
The Christian faith is a “remembering” faith. Every week as we break bread and drink wine together we follow Jesus instruction to “do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) We remember that God has made himself near to us. And in November we add to our remembering. From All Saints Day (1st Nov) to the first Sunday of Advent (27th Nov) we look back over our history as Christians and as a country and reflect on the lessons the past can teach us. We are inspired by the lives of the saints and humbled by the sacrifice of those who gave their lives that we might be free. More specifically, our annual “Remembering Services” this year sneaking into some churches on October 30th may give us the space to bring our memories of those we love that have died, to God. In the longer hours of darkness and in the absence of the sun’s warmth we have a place to stop, light a candle, wrap up warm and remember. Our Remembrance Day Sunday services on November 13th might also hold more poignancy this year as we remember back to the pageantry displayed by our Armed Services during our late Queen’s funeral parades. Remembering is so important and what better way than to remember with others.
God our Father
As we remember those who have gone before us this November
Give us the comfort of knowing that they have gone only as far as you
and you are very near. Amen
Rev Jules Walker, Interim Team Vicar, Uttoxeter Area of Parishes.