The Bishops of The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) have issued a joint statement at the start of this Remembrance Week, as churches across the Diocese prepare to mark a very special Remembrance Sunday.
Speaking today, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, joined with Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley and Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster, in saying: “This year’s Remembrance commemorations have an added poignancy as we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
“This year, Remembrance Sunday also signifies the end of 100 days of prayer for the nation recalling George V’s call to prayer in August 1918 for the ending of the war. It was exactly 100 days after the King’s call that, on November 11, the Armistice was declared.
“The 1914-1918 conflict tore the heart out of many communities across Great Britain and here in Lancashire, as many much-loved sons and daughters of our towns and villages did not return home.
“It is always a privilege to join with the people of Lancashire to remember before God the sacrifices across the years of many brave men and women in all wars and conflicts.
“We give thanks to God for these sacrifices and we will also remember in our prayers those still serving their country today in the armed forces; for their continued safety and for their families who support them.”
All three Bishops will be attending a variety of events on Remembrance Sunday across Lancashire, from early morning through to the evening.
Bishop Julian will be at Lancashire’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn at 6am for a special ceremony involving a lone piper who will play to mark the centenary of the signing of the WW1 Armistice. Later in the morning he will be preaching at the Civic Service, beginning at 9.30am.
Bishop Philip will be in Burnley for the Civic Service organised by Burnley Council, beginning just before 11am at the Peace Garden, Croft Street. Later in the afternoon he will attend a Remembrance Service at St Paul’s church in Adlington at 2.30pm.
Meanwhile Bishop Jill will be at Rossall School WW1 Commemoration Service, Rossall School, Fleetwood at 10.30am; St Andrew Cleveleys WW1 Commemoration Service at 3pm and Lancaster Priory Beacon lighting, bugler and peal of bells at 6.45pm.
In addition a whole host of special activities, events and services are taking place in Lancashire parishes across the coming days for Remembrance. They range from the usual commemorative services on Sunday to special community events.
Many churches have poppy displays inside and outside their buildings while a number have also participated in the national ‘There But Not There’ initiative involving the siting of simple perspex silhouettes in pews to represent fallen soldiers.
Original initiatives include one from a Preston church which has identified the homes of fallen soldiers and has invited the current occupants to a special Remembrance Service in their parish.
Meanwhile engaging young people remains a top priority for the diocese and the Diocesan Board of Education has developed a special online resource pack to help youth leaders in parishes to teach their youth groups about the meaning of Remembrance Sunday and all the events which surround it.
You can find out more about all of these Remembrance events on our Diocesan website: www.blackburn.anglican.org under ‘News and Events’.