Our morning’s service on Remembrance Sunday was led by Mr. Peter Williams of Market Drayton, one of our Circuit Local Preachers. Peter was welcomed by Rosalind Chatburn as were other visitors in our congregation. In the absence of our two organists, Jonathan Baddeley accompanied our hymns on the piano. Peter read some words from Psalm eight as his call to worship, before we sang Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Father of Everlasting Grace, thy goodness and thy truth we praise”.
Prayers of adoration, praise and confession were said before the Lord’s Prayer. As eleven o’clock drew near Peter read a war poem written by Major Malcolm Boyle of the 7th Battalion, The Green Howards, shortly after landing on Gold Beach, Normandy, on the 6th June 1944. “If I should never see the moon again. Rising red gold across the harvest field…”. He was killed just ten days later. We stood to remember those who gave their lives in two World Wars and other conflicts around the world.
Guy Chatburn read from the Book of the Revelations, chapter three, which contains a message to the Christians in Philadelphia, now part of Greece.
In his sermon, Peter, spoke about the letter written to the early Christians in the city of Philadelphia, a city which had suffered a large earthquake, and which had to be re-built. It was a letter of encouragement stating they would become pillars in the eternal temple of God. They were being persecuted daily for their faith, but they were assured that Jesus was in charge in spite of their difficulties. “I am holy and true”, he said, “no one comes to the Father except through me”. In our lives today Jesus opens doors because he is the one with the key and he knows which doors are opening in the future.
Peter led prayers for others particularly remembering those currently suffering in wars and conflicts around the world and we concluded our Remembrance Sunday service as we sang the great hymn by William Williams “Guide me, O though great Jehovah, pilgrims through this barren land.”