St Paul’s was filled to capacity as the community came together to commemorate all the lives lost in ”world wars and conflicts past present … in the cause of justice, freedom and peace” – words taken from the bidding prayer. The service was led by the Revd Jonathan Brewster and Bishop Nigel McCulloch, with contributions from Deacon Joe Pryslucki representing the Roman Catholics, the Revd David Edmondson the Methodists, and the Revd Martyn Coe the United Reformed Church. HM King Charles was represented by Mrs Suzie Bagot, Deputy Lieutenant, and Mrs Tricia Thomas represented the town of Grange-over-Sands, along with several of the councillors. Jonathan Brook, the Leader of the Westmorland and Furness Council, was present to represent MP Tim Farron.
Scout George Evans carried the Union Flag, and Martin Wright the Standard of the Royal British Legion, and they were followed by the banners and colours of the Guides, Brownies, Scouts and Cubs, and the special banner made by pupils from Grange Primary School. Next came the presentation of wreaths, representing the uniformed services and the voluntary and service organisations in the community. As organist Charles Edmondson played ‘Nimrod’, Carol Rhodes carried up to the altar the battlefield cross which once stood above the grave of Hubert Podmore, a soldier from Grange, who was killed in the First World War.
Readings were given by Phillipa Summers (Headteacher at the Primary School), Brian McCann (Churchwarden) and Pippa Eccles (Chair of Governors), and the choir from the school sang ‘Let there be peace on earth’.
After the service, members of Flookburgh Silver Band led the procession down through the town to the War Memorial in the Ornamental Gardens, where about 200 people gathered for the short service with the Last Post, 2 minutes’ silence and Reveille, and the words of the Kohima read by Rosie Eccles. The final act was the laying of 26 wreaths.
Most poignant was the final wreath which was laid by a Ukrainian family.
The parade then reassembled to walk back up the hill to the Victoria Hall for refreshments.
The service booklet this year was devised by Bishop Nigel. As the retired Bishop of Manchester and the former National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion who led the worship at the Festival of Remembrance in the Albert Hall for many years, we are very fortunate and grateful to have the benefit of his knowledge and advice. This booklet will now be used each year. The artwork on the front and back cover resulted from a competition at Grange Primary School, and the winners were Alice Evans (year 6) and Molly Nicholl (year 3). Bishop Nigel visited the school to present their certificates.