We will remember them

Published on: 7th June 2024

Image of school children listening to a story sat next to large wooden crucifix in church

Like most of the UK, the churches in our diocese are home to memorials to the fallen of both World Wars. But ours is a diocese where most of our towns and villages also have veterans or serving members of the armed forces among their residents, which makes this week's 80th Anniversary of D-Day commemorations all the more significant. Parishes across the diocese synchronised the lighting of their D-Day beacons for 9.15 last night, commemorating the start of the Normandy landings, and the beginning of the end of World War II. Beacons were lit far and wide throughout the diocese, in parishes and benefices from Much Wenlock and Condover to Bishops Frome, Pembridge and Wellington, and many more, lighting up the darkness from Shropshire to Herefordshire and Wales to Worcestershire.


The beacons were the culmination of a day of reflection designed to honour the many contributions and sacrifices of a generation. Events included an exhibit by Ledbury British Legion at St Michael and All Angels and a commemoration service at Ledbury War Memorial. Ludlow held a town picnic in the grounds of Ludlow Castle, and in Ross-on-Wye there was a multi-media presentation at St Mary's Ross followed by the Lighting of their Beacon at the Prospect. In Much Wenlock the Choir along with Revd Matthew Stafford played leading parts in the town's celebrations centred at the Priory. Further commemorative services take place this weekend, including a 6pm Evensong at St Margaret’s, Wellington.


Hereford Cathedral Choir joined the commemorations in Normandy on Wednesday and Thursday. The choir was invited to sing in the Service of Thanksgiving organised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Bayeux Cathedral, a service attended by HRH The Princess Royal, veterans, their families and international VIPs. And they gave a short performance in the Basilica of Sainte-Thérèse de Lisieux, and sang Choral Evensong in L’église St-Pierre de Caen. Geraint Bowen, Director of Music at Hereford Cathedral said: ‘It is a great honour for our choir to have been invited to take part in the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations. Our previous visit to Normandy in 2019 for the 75th anniversary was an unforgettable and moving experience for all involved."


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