Sharing God's Love
Well here we are enjoying the height of summer – for some that means holidays from school and college, for some that means holidays away, others might enjoy being on more grandparenting duty or simply looking after youngsters whilst parents and carers continue with their jobs. Whatever the situation, the summer holidays spell movement of some sort or another.
This month I ask you to spare a thought for those whose movement is limited or non-existent as a result of their time in the Armed Forces. Yes, they each signed up knowing there would likely be risk and they each signed up for a variety of reasons, but serving in the Forces is always life changing and sadly, sometimes in ways that affect that person deeply with disability physically or in their mental health.
I am delighted to say that I am now the Chaplain to the Marden Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL). The RBL offers substantial help in many ways to those who suffer as a result of serving our nation whilst in the Forces.
Marden RBL was recently reinstated to Full Branch status and our membership is growing! You too can join by simply phoning 0800 307 7773 (it takes just a few minutes) or registering online via www.britishlegion.org.uk/membership – the cost is just £17 which is an annual membership fee to the RBL, who will keep you updated with information and offer some discounts on trips and events. There is no requirement to be serving or to have served in the Forces (I haven’t and I am a member). Locally we are trying to find a suitable venue for regular meetings that can hold our growing number of members. If you join, you will be updated on how we proceed – we would love to have regular get togethers and maybe some outings too.
As you will know, the Remembrance Service is held in Church on the Sunday closest to November 11th each year, with standards present from the RBL and our local uniformed movements. This year we also held an outdoor service on D-Day, with active serving Forces members present, along with reps from Collier Street School and Marden School taking part with readings. The weather was good, the poppies were in bloom and it was a lovely occasion to honour and remember those who died or suffered on that day. We also held an outdoor service in Pattenden Lane to remember and honour the 11 who died there as a result of a V1 rocket being shot down by anti-aircraft fire which fell on an army camp.
Jesus preached and prayed for peace on earth and indeed for peace to reign between us all. We are human and that sometimes seems a long way off, but we can continue the prayers and the support of those who have been in some way, victims of war and argument.
Remember – those who cannot enjoy holidays – for just £17 you can help them via the RBL.