From the vicar – November 2016

From the vicar – November 2016

A Brand New National ‘Centre of Remembrance’…. buy antabuse.Right here in Alrewas!

slide1National Memorial Arboretum            During the 15 years I have had the privilege of serving as Vicar of Alrewas with Fradley and Wychnor, I have felt very delighted and proud to have the National Memorial Arboretum within our benefice, and  –  like so many of you who have been active volunteers serving the Arboretum since its establishment in May 2001  –  I have felt honoured to be able to participate in its work, as well as the joy of seeing it grow and develop over the years into a truly first class, truly national focus of remembrance for our nation.

As you may already know, the Arboretum contains over 50,000 trees (with more being added each year), as well as nearly 300 memorials dedicated to those who have played a part in serving our country. At the heart of the Arboretum is the Armed Forces Memorial, which is a tribute to over 16,000 service personnel who have lost their lives in conflict, or as a result of terrorism, since the end of the Second World War. Also within the Arboretum is the Millennium Chapel of Peace and Forgiveness where, at 11:00 am each day, an act of remembrance takes place.

On Friday 21st October, the latest amazing development of the Arboretum was publically unveiled to our local community and nation…..the opening of a brand-new Remembrance Centre, which features three new exhibition galleries, a larger restaurant and shop, and a beautiful cloistered courtyard with garden.  At the heart of this new Centre is a fascinating inter-active exhibition, Landscapes of Life, which provides a wonderful preview of the Arboretum as well as an introduction to the concept of Remembrance, and explains why it is an important human need spanning many thousands of years. With fully immersive audio-visual displays, hands-on interactive, artistic interpretation, as well as the opportunity for visitors from around the world to share their experiences, it will powerfully enable people of all ages to remember with dignity those who served Queen and country in the cause of freedom and justice, and honour those who gave their future for our today.

As we give thanks for the expansion and development of the Arboretum and its ‘Ministry of Remembrance’, this year’s Remembrance Sunday (13th November) offers each of us a vital opportunity to remember all those who, throughout the years, have served our country in the cause of freedom, and especially those who died in the service of our nation –  for, their willingness to put ‘service before self’ has indeed made it possible for us to enjoy the freedom we have (and perhaps too readily ‘take for granted’) in our daily lives. This year, please make it a priority for you and your family to join in the special Remembrance Sunday services at the Arboretum, or at All Saints Alrewas (10:45 AM), St. Leonard’s Wychnor (4:00 PM) or St. Stephen’s Fradley (6:30 PM), so that we can remember and give thanks together as a community and nation.

Your Vicar and friend,

Messy Church

Messy Church

A variety of craft activities and refreshments followed by a short celebration service and hot meal for children and parents. More..