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Input from Churches


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#1 MichaelBully

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:52 AM

I have been wondering if anyone has been liasing with churches re 100th anniversary. Was thinking that it would be a good opportunity to encourage churches to maintain war memorials to Great War dead and to research the lives and deaths of servicemen with a connection to their parishes.

#2 Ice tiger

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 05:17 PM

The names on the memorial I have are also listed on a memorial in the local church. See link to the Addlestone men website below.

Unfortunately the vicar is not that interested; it took me 3 or 4 attempts to gain access to the church to take photo's of their memorial - Their initial sugestion being that I could have "5 minutes" after a service.

Eventualy I negotiated 30 minutes access but when a forum pal later asked me to take some pictures of a pre-WW1 memorial in the same church I had the same problems all over again.

The lack of unrestricted access in this case may be due to the church having been "almost" burnt down in an arson attack a few years ago but it doesn't explain the complete lack of interest from the vicar; even when I told him I used to be a choir boy in the church MANY years ago :hypocrite:

Andy

#3 dycer

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 05:57 PM

Micheal,
I can only write from my experience.
I felt the need to attend a service,in a Church on Armistice Day 2008,which happens to contain my Uncles WW1 service Memorials.
And yes the Town Pipe Band came to pay due homage,as did the great and good of the Town.
But to try and explain the pleasure and feeling,I had,just being in their Church.You cannot describe.
But then again I am Scots,ex-BB,etc and should not have a view on WW1,as it was fought.
George

#4 MichaelBully

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:22 AM

Hello Andy, yes ministers can vary in their attitudes. I contacted the minister of St. Barnabas Church in Hove regarding the war memorial. He was very interested, and even invited me for coffee. The minister also went with us to Hove Cemetery on the anniversary of the death of local officer Victor Richardson M.C. ( most known for being featured in Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth' ) and said some prayers at the grave.
Yesterday I went to St. Leonards church in Aldrington, as it is open for tea on Sunday afternoons. The people looking after the church were very helpful when I said that I wanted to look at the war memorial, and gave me further information about the Great War dead.

On the other hand I went to another local church, and asked to look at the war memorial after the Sunday service . After about five minutes, I was treated as the proverbial pain ; but it could be that I had just called on a bad day.

I want to carry on with this, but it seems a question of contacting churches and talking to their ministers individually. I have no idea if nationally churches are co-ordinating any 1914-2014 centenary commemoration. Maybe it's something we could be enquiring about.
Regards, Michael Bully

EDIT Will look at the links you have posted in the near future. Thanks

The names on the memorial I have are also listed on a memorial in the local church. See link to the Addlestone men website below.

Unfortunately the vicar is not that interested; it took me 3 or 4 attempts to gain access to the church to take photo's of their memorial - Their initial sugestion being that I could have "5 minutes" after a service.

Eventualy I negotiated 30 minutes access but when a forum pal later asked me to take some pictures of a pre-WW1 memorial in the same church I had the same problems all over again.

The lack of unrestricted access in this case may be due to the church having been "almost" burnt down in an arson attack a few years ago but it doesn't explain the complete lack of interest from the vicar; even when I told him I used to be a choir boy in the church MANY years ago :hypocrite:

Andy



#5 MichaelBully

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:36 AM

Hello George, I hardly ever go to church myself but will attend Remembrance Sunday services, and occasionally on Armistace Day.( One church locally will open on the morning, so people can be there for the two minutes silence.) I also attend the Chattri memorial services on the Downs near Patcham, Brighton to remember the Sikh and Hindu soldiers. I know that the question of Remembrance Sunday and religious observation has been discussed on GWF and emotions ran high so hope I am treading carefully.
My view is that the centenary is going to happen, we may as well have some input in to it. If we want to encourage the wider community as it were to think about the Great War and remember the Dead, then conserving religious memorials to them is constructive.
I have been researching the Great War casualties at St. Andrews, Waterloo Street, Hove , which is a redundant church, now used as a community arts venue. I will be giving a talk again there on this topic.
Regards, Michael Bully

Micheal,
I can only write from my experience.
I felt the need to attend a service,in a Church on Armistice Day 2008,which happens to contain my Uncles WW1 service Memorials.
And yes the Town Pipe Band came to pay due homage,as did the great and good of the Town.
But to try and explain the pleasure and feeling,I had,just being in their Church.You cannot describe.
But then again I am Scots,ex-BB,etc and should not have a view on WW1,as it was fought.
George



#6 dycer

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:57 AM

Mike,
I know your question is well intended.
But should Churches be seen to be leading the 100 years anniversary or merely used for reflection during the period?
George

#7 old owl

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:59 AM

Hi Michael,

A number of years ago I visited All Saints Church in Hove and found memorials to two officers whose medals I have in my collection. There is also a very fine memorial for the members of the congregation who fell during the war, and from memory, another to a school which used to be in the area. All the memorials seemed to be in good condition although this may be because they are made from marble or similar, sometimes brass ones are either not cleaned or polished to the extreme by over zealous helpers.

Generally whilst visiting churches I have found people to be most helpful, although I did once experience someone trying to charge me 5 for a permit to photograph the war memorial in the church, which I found a little over zealous!! Generally, I leave a couple of pounds or more in the collection box as a sign of support for the upkeep of the church but was not keen on being asked for a fee for taking a photo!! Perhaps needless to say, I left without either taking the photo or making a donation!!

To answer your question regarding input from churches for the anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, then I suspect that this may be the case in some areas but I personally have not come across any mention. I think that this will be down to the local Vicar and his congregation, some of whom will have an interest in WW1 through family connections and may push this forward. Of course there are many local historians who have researched and published books or pamphlets on their local church memorials and with the anniversary looming this may become even more popular.

Robert

#8 MichaelBully

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:53 AM

Hello George, I hadn't thought of churches leading the 100th anniversary but possibly having some input. I would also hope that other religious communities would be involved but I have no experience of dealing directly with other faiths. Would certainly attend events organised by non-Christian religions which were open to the wider community. Regards.

Mike,
I know your question is well intended.
But should Churches be seen to be leading the 100 years anniversary or merely used for reflection during the period?
George



#9 MichaelBully

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 11:57 AM

Hello Robert, All Saints church in The Drive, Hove, still functions as the leading Anglican church of Hove. The memorial plaque to the Hove Great War dead -there is an identical one in the foyer of Hove library- is so important as the war memorial of Hove does not have any names on it.

There was a thread orientated towards Hove Great War dead here

http://1914-1918.inv...ic=141796&st=50

post 71 has a picture of the All Saints memorial.

Regards,

Michael Bully

Hi Michael,

A number of years ago I visited All Saints Church in Hove and found memorials to two officers whose medals I have in my collection. There is also a very fine memorial for the members of the congregation who fell during the war, and from memory, another to a school which used to be in the area. All the memorials seemed to be in good condition although this may be because they are made from marble or similar, sometimes brass ones are either not cleaned or polished to the extreme by over zealous helpers.

Generally whilst visiting churches I have found people to be most helpful, although I did once experience someone trying to charge me 5 for a permit to photograph the war memorial in the church, which I found a little over zealous!! Generally, I leave a couple of pounds or more in the collection box as a sign of support for the upkeep of the church but was not keen on being asked for a fee for taking a photo!! Perhaps needless to say, I left without either taking the photo or making a donation!!

To answer your question regarding input from churches for the anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, then I suspect that this may be the case in some areas but I personally have not come across any mention. I think that this will be down to the local Vicar and his congregation, some of whom will have an interest in WW1 through family connections and may push this forward. Of course there are many local historians who have researched and published books or pamphlets on their local church memorials and with the anniversary looming this may become even more popular.

Robert



#10 John Gilinsky

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 08:19 PM

Just briefly skimmed the messages in this interesting thread. There are several major themes and concepts that are embeddeed and even overt within the messages. I am a Canadian living in Toronto. Since the summer of 2009 I have visited over 150 churches and counting in 3 provinces for a db and eventual book (book whats a book? :lol: ) on Canadian Church Memorials of WWI. Generally I have been openly and reasonably accommodated. However churches even within the same denomination will vary based on the LOCAL circumstances and INDIVIDUALS involved anywhere in the world. What is interesting for the Anglican Church is that it is the state religion of Great Britain and historically speaking what I would refer to as the "semi-state" religion of Canada though even in 1914 Canada and massive British immigration Anglicans made up a sizeable MINORITY of the population within Canada. In Canada the aspect of historical cognizance is far below that of Great Britain which both facilitates greatly and sometines hinders the preservation, recording and yes access to such memorials. Keep the Judeo-Christian ethic and one of the Ten Commandmants in mind when approaching Christian churches: Thou Shall Not Kill. In one nameless major historical (for Canadian puposes parish founded pre-1900) which had one of the higher enlistment rates in Toronto their large wooden frame is BLANK as the minister explained to me that is where their Honour Roll was supposed to go. Churches are places of worship first and foremost. In Canada (indeed around the world actually) they are also invaluable depositories of cultural history: art, military, social, local community, women's, children, etc....). However think of the presiding local place of worship's officials: the greeat difficulties of attendance, participation, etc....
Hope this reflective comments help anyone anywhere trying to document, research, record, etc... these objects.
John

#11 ReephamWW1

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:46 PM

Hi
Just to say when i suggested I was interested in doing the Putting a Face to the Name Project to my Rector she thought it was a wonderful idea!
I'm getting support from the church to put on an exhibition of the findings (still 2 years away and its looming fast! Posted Image)
Unfortunately i think it is a local thing maybe suggesting it may get some interest?

#12 andrewr

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:09 PM

I am researching the men from Bracknell Borough and have met with mixed success (most of the churches are kept locked)

Holy Trinity, Bracknell - access allowed once but further follow-ups ignored
Easthampstead - access during Heritage Weekend. Church Office drip feeding information
Binfield - access very reluctantly given
Warfield - access given willingly
Winkfield - church is unlocked so no problems with access
Cranbourne - ditto. But request for information met by brick wall
Crowthorne - List of names outside in the lych gate. Request for War Grave info - "no record exists" until I pointed out it was a War Grave
Sandhurst - church is unlocked. Apologised because local school had commandeered it (for a concert rehearsal) and denied me access

Bit of a mixed bag but on the whole, I got the feeling they are not interested

#13 MichaelBully

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

Yes interesting to hear of your experiences in visiting war memorial in churches. Most of the churches I have looked at so far are Anglican and my experiences also are quite wide ranging. Some ministers and church officials being sympathetic, a couple quite indifferent, and at least one treated me as the proverbial pain.
It would be interesting to see if the respective churches Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, et al, are co-ordinating any activity for the centenary. Also the other religious faiths. Perhaps they simply are not treating centenary as a priority.
But church war memorials are still a fascinating source of information.
I am glad you mentioned Heritage Weekend, that could be a great opportunity to visit churches and other religious buildings which are not usually open to visitors.
Regards
Michael Bully