Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Once again, we enter November, and the season of remembrance. It begins with
All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and moves on to Remembrance Sunday and
Armistice Day. As always, there are Remembrance Sunday services at war
memorials and churches across the benefice, with details elsewhere in this
Towards the end of the month, we have our annual Service of Thanksgiving for a
Life on Sunday 24th November at All Saint’s Church in Flore, beginning at 3:30 PM. This is an opportunity to celebrate, remember and give thanks for the lives of loved ones who have died recently, or, indeed, not so recently. If there is anyone you would like us to remember especially during this service, then please give me a ring on the telephone number below and let me know their names.
Coincidentally, Saturday 9th November marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember visiting West Berlin in the early-80’s and going to see the Wall, an ugly scar on the landscape, and a stark reminder of a deeply divided humanity. And I remember the end of 1989 as a time of hope. With the Berlin Wall coming down, communism collapsing across Eastern Europe, and an end in sight to the tensions of the Cold War, surely this was the time for humanity to come together for the wellbeing of all. Sadly, my naive hopes were quickly dashed, as new hatreds, ideologies and jealousies arose to ensure humanity remained – and remains – as divided as ever.
But the fall of the Berlin Wall still inspires me as an example of the tremendous power of prayer. In the late-70’s, East German Christians – suffering under one of the most repressive regimes in the world – began to gather in churches across the country to pray for peace, and especially for a lessening of the tensions between East and West. The most significant of these prayer meetings was in Leipzig, which grew to such an extent that around 70,000 people gathered there for a prayer meeting in October 1989. A month later, when the Berlin Wall came down, the Communists had policemen on the streets and snipers on the roofs. They thought they were prepared for every eventuality, but they were not prepared for the power of prayer.
As we gather again to remember the fallen, what might we pray to change in our
world, our nation, our communities or our homes that would truly honour their
Yours in Christ,
Stephen – 01327 344436