Monthly letter from the Clergy
November2017  - This months letter is from Reader, Janet Bird

“Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot!” so went the cry of youngsters during the 1950s and 60s asking for a “penny for the Guy”, Of course we lived in different times then and children were able to play out in the streets without their parents worrying that something awful might happen to them.

As we get older we seem to spend more of our time remembering events, places and people who have played an important part in our lives.
November in particular is a month when we think about what has past. We remember those who have lost their lives fighting to protect our freedom during special services on Remembrance Sunday. At one time it seemed as though people were losing interest in attending such services but in recent years we have seen an upsurge of enthusiasm with additional services taking place at different times of the year commemorating specific battles of the First World War. Having already heard of the death of the last remaining serviceman who fought in World War One we know that we will soon reach a point when nobody who fought during the Second World War will still be alive. Yet we know that whilst there continue to be wars raging around the world which involve servicemen both from our own nation and many others there will sadly continue to be people who need our prayers as they come to terms with life changing injuries or experiences and others whose lives have been so cruelly cut short and who we should remember.
Each November in our churches we hold a special ‘All Souls’ service to remember those we love who are now with God and we invite you to add their names to a ‘Missing Yew’ Tree in each of our Churchyards.

The Bible of course is full of commands for people to remember God’s greatness and worship his Holy name. For over 3000 years the Jews have celebrated the feast of the Passover to remind them of when Moses led the Israelites safely from slavery
in Egypt after they had marked their doorposts with lambs blood so that God could “Pass over” their houses and spare them from the plague of the death of every first born which God had sent down on Egypt.

Jesus commands us to remember his teaching, in particular to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
to love your neighbour as yourself”  and this command is particularly important as we begin to look forward to
Christmas  and also to the challenges and opportunities of the New Year ahead.

Once again in Hertford we will be holding Christmas Alone at Sele School and I would like to invite anybody who is likely to be alone on Christmas Day or any of you who would like to volunteer to help in any way to get in touch with me before the 14th
December so that I can include you in my plans for the day.
However I would also invite you to think of ways in which, in the days and months ahead, we could find ways  to improve the lives of people around us who may be sick, lonely, living in poverty or finding it hard to find their way so that next November we will have much to remember and to give thanks for.