REMEMBRANCE Sunday is an opportunity to remember and thank God for all those who have given and continue to give their lives for others and to pray for a future where peace may overcome war.
At St Luke’s in the heart of the city centre, we tried something a bit different to help make the occasion accessible to children and families, which make up a significant part of our community here in Somerstown.
It was important to strike the right balance between making it accessible and relevant to all including the very young, but without losing sight of the sense of reflection, respect and quiet that lies at the heart of Remembrance Sunday services.
So we chose to blend storytelling with puppets, live music and plenty of creative activities to cater for all ages and learning styles.
Our activities included making poppies out of cupcake cases to remember those who have given their lives for others, using clothes and props from our dressing up basket to remember those who help us to be safe, including police officers and doctors and nurses, and marking on a world map those places where conflict is still raging today to remember and pray for all those affected. We then brought symbols of each of these activities to the foot of the cross as a way of offering these things to God.
Poppy wreaths were then laid by Hattie Dodd, aged three, and Ray Perry, who are among the youngest and oldest of those who are part of our growing church family here at St Luke’s.
Shortly before 11am we played the remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph in London on the big screen thanks to the newly installed wi-fi, and joined the Queen and others gathered there in the two minutes of silence.
Reactions from those who attended the service were very positive, both those who were new to the experience of church and those who come to St Luke’s regularly.
The forthcoming season of Advent and Christmas offers more opportunities to explore different ways to blend the traditional with the contemporary.
Our preparations begin this Saturday at 12.30pm with a Christmas fair. There will be live music, food and much more. Why not join us? It’d be great to welcome you.
n St Luke’s Church is in Isambard Brunel Road. Portsmouth Sunday services start at 10.15am. For more info, call Rev McCabe on 07802 644 525, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/stlukeandstpetersouthsea.