Welcome back after half term. I do hope yours was as restful and varied as mine.
The first week in November sees many opportunities to remember. We remember the saints who might provide models for our living and decision-making. We remember those in our families and amongst our friends who are no longer with us and ask for God‘s blessing on them. We remember and celebrate the failure of the gunpowder plot to blow up Parliament and we look forward to seeing many of you this evening for our celebration with fireworks and time together. It is always a very happy and well organised affair.
Perhaps the most sobering element of this week is our act of remembrance and respect for those who lost their lives in war.
This year, nationally, there is a particular emphasis on remembering those whose lives were lost and changed in World War I and we shall be sharing some stories from that time as we remember with the children and staff today. Our Tommy sculpture encapsulates our wish to provide a lasting reminder of the sacrifices made and in its design expresses both absence and presence. The Old Michaelians who gave their lives are remembered by name each year and thus they live on in the consciousness of the children and staff at St Michael’s today.
Our Service of Remembrance today was a moving and memorable occasion and it was lovely to be joined by so many parents, friends and neighbours. Each child paid their respects in person and many left their poppies in the sandbags by our sculpture.
For the youngest children there are of course more questions than answers and if you are joining in on Sunday with the national act of remembrance through television, radio or physical participation in your local community, I hope that some of the children will use that time, as we have encouraged them to do, to reflect on all that they are grateful for and spare a thought for people they never knew who died to give them their quality of life today.