St Mary the Virgin, Newport
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As autumn settles in with darker evenings and windy nights, so we prepare to come into a time of remembering. This year Remembrance Day itself falls on a Sunday and the Royal British Legion will be coming to St Mary’s, Newport. It promises to be a great occasion and I am praying that it will remain dry for our act of remembrance at the War Memorial which stands in the churchyard. We’ll be joined by the uniformed organisations and by our Christian brothers & sisters from the neighbouring benefice of Clavering, Wicken Bonhunt, Arkesden & Langley. I am expecting a large number of the villagers from Newport & Widdington to attend as well. Revd Margaret Davis will be leading the service alongside me.
We gather to remember those people who have given up their own life for others in warfare. We remember the 1st and 2nd World Wars but we also think of all of the conflicts that have happened since then; Korea, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. We need no reminding that young men & women are still losing their lives for our freedom and the freedom of others. We can only speculate what the outcome might have been had we, as a nation, not been involved in two world wars or other conflicts. Maybe we would not have the freedom we know and value today. It is because of the freedom we have today, that we remember those who gave up their lives in the past.
As we move through November we enter the period of Advent, which leads us all to Christmas; which is about both celebrating and remembering. We remember the birth of the baby boy in a dusty, dirty stable over 2000 years ago. We remember how his parents Mary & Joseph had to flee Israel in fear for the life of their son. We remember the angels appearing to the shepherds proclaiming that the boy was to be the saviour of the world, and we remember the gifts brought by the kings; gold, frankincense and myrrh. The last of these gifts remind us that the baby boy grew up to be the man, who gave up his life for every single one of us on the cross, so that we may know freedom from sin.
Please join me for Remembrance Sunday and the many Christmas services that will be happening in the church. Join me to remember the death of those who have gone before. Join me to remember the life and the death of Jesus. Join me to remember the cost of the freedom we have today, and to celebrate it.
Revd Neil McLeod
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