World War I Remembrance
The War that didn’t end war…
Rochester Cathedral has outlined a programme of commemoration from 2014 to 2018. We hope to use the five years to develop a greater understanding of war, the world and the Kingdom of God, and listen to and learn from local and individual experiences:
CLICK HERE for the Lent Themes 2015
Points of remembrance
These have been identified by the Church of England as
Outbreak of war: August 4th 1914
Battle of Jutland: 31 May – 1 June 1916
Battle of the Somme: 1 July – 18 November 1916
Battle of Passchendaele: 31 July – 6 November 1916
Armistice: 11 November 1918
The National Advisory Panel set up by the Government has chosen three themes:
Remembrance, Youth and Education
The cathedral will take up the three themes thus:
The names of the fallen will brought into a peaceful reflective installation in the Lady Chapel where visitors can tie a cardboard tag to a wire-structure bearing the name of someone who died in the war. This structure will flow towards the central altar where a single candle will burn representing Jesus the Light of the World – a sing of God’s presence and love in bad times as well as good.
Working with the cathedral community, University of the Third Age and Medway Youth Parliament, we hope to research some stories and create interpretation panels telling the stories. These will be added to from August to November so that by Remembrance Sunday 2014 there will be a large installation to surround with poppies.
Youth and Education
In the Cathedral’s Education and Visits Department there will be a programme for younger children on Remembrance along with work using banners/standards and books of remembrance noting the curriculum change to local history which extends to the Royal Engineers in Brompton and the Historic Dockyard in Chatham. There will also be stories about soldier volunteers, dance workshops re: soldiers and families, sounds of war etc. and we hope to develop an interfaith dialogue.
There is also a plan to engage the young with the elderly and those with dementia in singing together songs from the war through Sing for your Life and Drumbeat School – a brand new special school for children and young people with autism in Downham and Brockley and in particular using music therapy.
The Cathedral Programme has included these :
beginnings and causes of war and conflict (including rivalry, greed, fear, vested interest, prejudice etc)
During the summer there were outside floral commemoration of the
outbreak of war and in the Lady Chapel there was a reflective space and display for daily use at midday prayers, by schools and individuals
Sunday 20 July
Canon Neil Thompson, Precentor:
Might and right among the nations:
What part do justice and peace play in the road to war?
Sunday 27 July
The Ven. Simon Burton-Jones, Archdeacon of Rochester
‘Love your enemies’ – is war ever just and can it ever be limited?
Sunday 3 August
Canon Jean Kerr, Missioner
The price of peace in a competitive and untrusting world:
How do we live with rivalry, greed, fear, vested interest and prejudice?
In the autumn towards Remembrance Sunday a series of three talks were held (and thence each year to 2018)
Religion, Literature and Propaganda ~ Dr Philip Hesketh, Canon Pastor
Philip Hesketh has produced a pamphlet which is available at the Cathedral Shop
global conflict and the individual
NB * The 2015 Lent Sermons are available as booklets free of charge, from the Cathedral Shop, or at the Great West Door.
attrition and its cost
Kingdom season 2017 (All Saints to Advent)
remembering and honour;
protest and conscience
All Saints/All Souls 2018
guilt and forgiveness; repair and reparation
Performance of Britten’s War Requiem
We are planning a performance (possibly two) of Britten’s War Requiem in the Nave with a parallel art display taking up the work of the war poets ~ War and the pity of war. The possibility of streaming the performance to the Historic Dockyard in Chatham is being investigated. An educational lead in to this event is also planned to make the Requiem as accessible as possible particularly to schools and colleges.
For Further Information on Local Events, Please visit :
The UK Government Site
The Royal Engineers Museum Website