Friday, 11 November 2011

St Martin's Day- In Remembrance and a Royal Opening

The Commemoration of St Martin of Tours, Patron Saint of the Armed Forces, who turned from warfare to be a servant of the Prince of Peace.

A Fresco by Simone Martini, showing St Martin leaving the life of chivalry and renouncing the Army.

St Martin discovered what our own generation is yet to learn, that wars will end when we no longer see the need to fight. His Feast Day provides a fitting back-drop to the observance of Remembrance Day, and a reminder that there is always a better way.

Today saw a Royal Visit to Overgate Hospice, as the Duke of Gloucester returned, after his Visit in 2009 to formally open the new Day Hospice Extensions. The Visit included an Act of Remembrance at 11am, which I was delighted to be asked to lead.

Much of this week has been taken up with hosting visits from Brooksbank High and West Vale Primary Schools to All Saints. Over the next couple of weeks, together with my colleagues, we will be leading follow up sessions in Brooksbank, on what it is like to be a Priest.

As the School serves an area wider than Elland, for many, it is their first visit to All Saints. We ask the young people first of all to sit quietly, and then describe how the building feels, almost inevitably getting the response, 'Peaceful.' Out of the mouths of babes....