Church of England Diocese of St.Albans Abbey Parish of St. Albans

St Albans Cathedral joins ‘Big Picnic for Hope’ to honour heroes of past & present

4 May 2020, noon
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<span style="font-size: 1rem;">St Albans Cathedral is joining with cathedrals across England to mark VE Day. Heroes past and present will be remembered in a special VE day service to be broadcast at 3pm on You Tube and in a Big Picnic for Hope.</span>

The Big Picnic for Hope is an opportunity for households to be part of a virtual get together on 8 May. The project asks people to stay at home, to picnic indoors or in their gardens, and to join friends and families virtually.

The Very Revd Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, said: “In most of history’s wars it is hard to say which side was in the right. The Second World War was different. Nazism was a dehumanising ideology, based on a perverted evolutionary theory that one race is naturally superior to another, and can therefore be justified in crushing and exterminating others. The defeat of Hitler was a straightforward victory of good over evil. It is something of which this country can be genuinely proud, and for which we should be grateful to our forebears and to God.

To mark VE day we will be streaming a special service of thanksgiving, including contributions from some of those who took part in the struggle, a message from the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, and a sermon from Bishop Stephen Venner who until recently was Bishop to the Armed Forces.

The planned street picnics and celebrations are impossible this year, but the Big Picnic for Hope is a national initiative to gather us together in homes and over social media. The idea is to celebrate not only the past, but also the courage and spirit of the individuals and communities who are struggling now with the pandemic – the NHS staff, carers, cleaners, drivers, shop workers – everybody who is ‘doing their bit’. And as we eat our picnic, there is also a chance to contribute to food banks for others.”

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