Marking 100 years since the Armistice
This month we describe some of the projects for marking the moment of Remembrance 2018. Next month, Bishop Alan talks about lasting legacies to the centenary of the Armistice.
On 1st January, the Government announced a number of ways in which 100 years since the end of the First World War will be marked during this year, rounding off four years of commemorations.
Remembrance Sunday falls this year on 11 November, 100 years to the day since the cessation of hostilities which took effect at exactly 11:00 am. Although many civic events take place throughout 2018, inevitably, church commemorations will tend to focus on or around Remembrance Sunday. Here are just some ways in which the church can take part.
Church Bells – Ringing Out for Peace
The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers is working with a campaign to get church bells ringing at 7:05 pm on Remembrance Sunday. They are appealing for participants.
Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR is encouraging bell ringers to take part.
“We want this to be the most widespread ringing of church bells since the first world war. “It would be a fitting and moving tribute to the 1400 or so bell ringers that we understand lost their lives during World War One.”
Calling it a once in a lifetime opportunity, he continues
“I have no doubt that dedicated campanologists in Britain and around the world will want to join in this once-in-a-lifetime tribute to everyone who served on the battlefields, the high seas and the home front.”
Ringing Out for Peace is part of Battle’s Over, a unique day-long commemoration of the end of the first world war taking place throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and at scores of locations overseas.
It begins at 6am on November 11th 2018 with lone pipers outside every cathedral in the country, playing Battle’s O’er, a traditional tune played after a battle, At the same time, pipers everywhere will be playing the same tune in their local communities around the world.
At 6.55pm buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1,000 locations, where at 7pm WW1 Beacons of Light will be lit, signifying the light of peace that emerged from the darkness of war.
Then at 7.05pm church and cathedral bells will be Ringing Out for Peace! See: www.brunopeek.co.uk/Battles-Over-Guide.pdf?t=1520377273
The Poppy Field art installation will be in the Nave of St Albans Cathedral over two nights in October 2018. The climax of both evenings is the lighting of candles at the West End of the Cathedral as the Last Post is played.
‘There But Not There’
The team behind the poppies at the Tower of London which marked the centenary of the start of World War I is planning to mark the end in a similarly dramatic, but distinctively local way: parishes all over the country will be able to participate. The project, commended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is described in a two-minute film: ‘No Longer a Name on a Wall,’ at www.therebutnotthere.org.uk/gallery/
Following the installation of 51 transparent seated military figures in the Penshurst Church over Remembrance 2016, which resonated widely with the public, ‘There But Not There’ aims to place a representative perspex figure for as many as possible of the names on local war memorials, around the country, into their place of worship, their school, their workplace or wherever their absence was keenly felt. These transparent silhouettes will be back within their communities for Remembrance 2018.
‘There But Not There’ aims to be the defining centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 war. A new charity, Remembered, is behind it. Its aims are Commemorate, Educate and Heal.
Parishes may be able to access grant funding for the installation and merchandise sales will raise money for six service charities. See: www.therebutnotthere.org.uk