To: Diocese in Europe Clergy, Readers, Church Secretaries and Churchwardens
From: Mission & Public Affairs chair, Diocese in Europe
Re: Centenary of the First World War
Date: Epiphany 2014
As we enter 2014, we approach the Centenary of WW1 1914-1918. Serving as Christians in Continental Europe gives us a special opportunity and indeed, a deep responsibility, to engage as a Diocese (and especially locally and ecumenically) in marking this important centenary. Prayerfully, thoughtfully, and with a clear focus on reconciliation and peace building.
At our Diocesan Synod in June at Cologne, I presented a series of questions to fellow Synod members which led in to lively group discussions:
A hundred years on, what does the First World War mean for:
- humanity’s self-understanding?
- Europe and its place in the world?
- our understanding of God?
I enclose a new leaflet from the Church of England with some useful web resources, and which encourages a prayer focus on the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1,Monday 4 August 2014. On this day there will be a special service at Glasgow Cathedral with Commonwealth Leaders(1000-1200 UK time) and a ‘Memorial Event’ at St Symphorien Mons Cemetery (1930 UK time), both with global TV coverage. I have also recently been to a meeting of the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England that is planning special liturgies for the Centenary. However, all the Church of England material (including this leaflet) so far produced, is very UK-centric, in my view.
Please can you help me by sending in your ideas, visions and thoughts for this Centenary, and any local plans or special prayers and liturgies you may be developing. I will then put these together for an update in The European Anglican and Diocesan website. I will also feed this information into the mainland Church of England planning group, so that their material can have more of a European perspective and to encourage networking and publicity.
Please can you send me this by email by the end of January.