May 2014

Symbols of Remembrance and Peace

Congregations of United Reformed Churches across the three nations, along with churches from other denominations are symbolising both remembrance and peace by planting poppy seeds in church borders and gardens. Red poppies have been used since just after the First World War as a symbol of remembrance for those who have died in war, whilst white poppies have come to be a symbol in the search for peace and an end to all wars.

After Fareham URC's Easter Morning Service, in the light rain, the seeds were blessed and members of the congregation scattered both red and white poppy seeds in the hope that they will bloom on or around 4th August, the 100 year commemoration of the declaration of World War One. Children too learned the significance within their Junior Church lessons and each planted special poppy seeds, red with a white centres sold to benefit service charities.

"As we join in the collective act of planting poppy seeds", says URC Moderator Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, "may the colours that burst forth remind us of the costly sacrifice of war and strengthen our commitment to a war free world, where peace becomes our orienting habit" while General Secretary Revd Roberta Rominger adds "Peace is always subversive in a world addicted to violence. I hope that the white poppies we plant alongside the red will make people stop and think, and maybe inspire some to pray".

Church Walk - Rowlands Castle to Stanstead House "we will remember them"

On Saturday 3rd May in perfect walking weather, the Church Walking Group enjoyed the beauty of creation as we explored part of the Monarch Way, so called as the trail follows the escape route of King Charles II after the battle of Worcester in 1651, as he fled to France.

As Jean and David Goddard researched and pre-walked the route, they came across a memorial cross and engraved epitaph which marked the site where a World War 2 Canadian flight officer’s escape from his burning plane on 7th May 1944 was not so successful. The stone plaque read Let all who read this epitaph know that he died helping to ensure our freedom

The group said a prayer for world peace and Jean laid a posy of spring flowers from her garden in remembrance of the 70th anniversary of this brave pilot’s sacrifice.

Later research identified that the F/O Justin Clermonts was only twenty three years old and came from Toronto. His typhoon plane had caught fire shortly after take off, spun round and burst into flames on impact. He is buried in Brookvale Military Cemetery, Surrey.

Easter Sunday Breakfast Celebrations...he is risen

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly and tell his disciples
that he is risen from the dead. (Matthew 28 v 6-7)

The little flower arrangements in the centre of each table at the Church Family Breakfast proclaimed the message of Easter Sunday, "He is risen".

The theme was followed through with the Easter Egg tree, chickens and eggs on the central table which enticed everyone towards a feast of cereals, fruit, yoghurt and every imaginable delicacy prior to selecting a full cooked English Breakfast from the "cooked" table. Vegetarians were also fully catered for with a delicious selection of bread and cheese while those preferring a continental option also had a delicious variety of cooked meals to select from.

The Easter Breakfast, prepared and served by the "Head Chef Geoff's team", may have appeared effortless but an enormous amount of work was put for two/ three whole days beforehand - planning, shopping, preparing, and cooking to enable the church family to have such a precious time of quality fellowship together to celebrate our Risen Lord.

Sincere Thanks to Head Chef Geoff and his team from Everyone in Church