Tilston light display of remembrance 2014


undefinedSt Mary's church in Tilston, near Malpas, created an impressive illuminated call to remembrance to mark the centenary of the Great War. The idea to illuminate the church tower with poignant images for the rural community came from the Rector, the Revd Jane Stephenson.

Turning the light projections into reality was the work of Chris Gilbert, who is training for Readership, and Robin Travis, one of the Churchwardens.

The pictures could be seen by people in Tilston village and the approaches from the north.

Because of their high visibility, and because of  word of mouth, a good number of people drove and walked to the vicinity of the church to see the thought-provoking projections, which were illuminated from 6pm to 9pm from Friday to Sunday (7 to 9 November). Local people described the scene as 'stunning' and 'very moving'.

Rector Jane Stephenson commented: “The dramatic approach we took made the impact of war on the individuals concerned a reality to our small rural community.”

As usual in Tilston, the remembrance service was preceded by a parade, led by standards, from the War Memorial Hall in the village onwards half a mile to the church.
This year, as well as ex-servicemen, the Rector asked every village organisation to be represented and lay a wreath. Various uniformed organisations, Tilston School and Parents' Association, the parish council, the youth club, and the War Memorial Hall Committee were among the organisations to take part. Individuals added poppy crosses. The war memorial outside the church had been refurbished by Peter Earle OBE.

The remembrance service was packed. Members of the local community read biographies of those named on the memorial. An ex-Wren, Ursula Hunter, took the salute.  Our bugler was 15-year-old Eleri Roberts.

The remembrance service at the sister church of St Edith's in Shocklach was led by Assistant Minister David Black.

Among the many other activities in the united benefice of Tilston and Shocklach themed on remembrance, compassion and peace this year is the creation of a peace canvas by Chris Gilbert, containing words of peace collected from parishioners.

Rector Jane added: “We had a weekend of drawing people together, of working collaboratively with all the village organisations so that Marjorie Armitage’s  amazing exhibition of archives in the War Memorial Hall brought new stories and school poems and young people’s research together and the church gave an opportunity for reflection, shared sorrow and deep connection.”