Rector's Letter - November 2015

Dear Friends,

"Never, in the field of human conflict, has so much been owed by so many to so few." Winston Churchill's famous words about the RAF airmen in the Battle of Britain spoke a lot of truth. What a difference their actions made!

This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. It was the first significant strategic defeat suffered by Adolph Hitler's Third Reich during the Second World War. The climax of the battle came on 15th September, a day in which the Luftwaffe lost 56 planes and the RAF 28. During the twelve-week battle, 1,733 German aircraft had been destroyed, compared with 915 British fighters. On 17th September, Hitler recognised the growing futility of the campaign and postponed indefinitely the invasion of Britain.

In the longer term, the Battle ensured that Britain could serve as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, enabling the Allies, including the USA and Canada, to launch their invading armies into continental Europe on D-Day to free the peoples of Western Europe from the yoke of Nazi oppression. The story of the world could have been very different had we lost this Battle. So we have a lot to be thankful for! And not just to "the Few", but to all who served their country in those dark days and since.

We are marking this important anniversary at our Remembrance Services, and hopefully once again, we will see a flypast of Spitfires and Hurricanes from Biggin Hill, in recognition of the part played by our villages in billeting the aircrews.

It is so important that we never forget the cost of our freedom, and never take it for granted. The world is changing so fast, it would be so easy to stand by and allow our values and security to be undermined. Inspired by the courage and self-sacrifice of the past, we should stand up for truth, justice, freedom and right whatever the cost. Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for us to make that commitment in gratitude to those who did so in the past.

With my love, prayers and best wishes,

Verse for the Month

“Jesus said: "Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends."”
John 15:13-14

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