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Letter from Sandy Emery, Associate Priest - November 2019

Dear Friends
I am sitting here thinking to myself that I can’t believe we are in November already. Where has the year gone? We’ve had summer with its lush green growth and now we are entering again a season that is beginning to put itself to bed as our plants begin their dormant time in response to a lack of light and the change in temperature, leading into the impending winter months. The thoughts of hot lazy days of summer have disappeared from my memory.

However, the month of November is about remembering and it begins with All Saints when we remember with praise and gratitude all those who have gone before us on the pilgrimage of faith. Nowadays in many churches the season also includes 'All Souls' Day' or 'the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed', when we recall those we have known and loved but see no longer. This we will commemorate at our Memorial Service on Sunday 3rd November at 5.30pm in the Parish church at Minchinhampton. This is a very moving reflective service where the names of our loved ones whom have died are read out and then the opportunity is given to place a lighted candle for each of our loved ones in the shape of a cross. Very poignant in remembering. Please come along to the service where all are welcomed.

Then the following week is Remembrance Sunday when we remember the conflicts of our two World Wars and also the conflicts since then and the dreadful hostilities going on around us now. We remember those who lost their lives, those who suffered in the dreadful conditions of war and those who go on suffering today in the outbreaks of war and violence still present. It is our responsibility to remember them, to grieve and to acknowledge that they laid down their lives so that we might live in peace. God and we, will remember them. Please join the Parish Church and the Baptist Church for an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial in the town centre on Sunday morning at 10.50am on the 10th November.

So, whatever the month of November holds for you, remember we should never forget the immense debt that we owe to the witnesses down the ages and may you find this month of remembrance a stepping stone into the Presence of God.

With love and best wishes