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The courage of former soldiers and the horror of battlefield deaths have been recalled by Suffolk’s bishops on the eve of Remembrance Sunday.

Monday 12th November 2018

Bishop Martin and Bishop Mike, have taken part in commemorations throughout the county.

Bishop Mike said: ‘‘This is a time to give tribute to the millions who were lost or participated in the war whether on the battlefield or the home front. We remember both the gallantry, courage and sacrifice, but also the horror and awfulness.’’

Bishop Martin, attended the Ipswich Cenotaph service in Christchurch Park on Sunday, said: ‘‘Everywhere I go in Suffolk there are extraordinary acts of Remembrance, in schools, churches and community centres, with a powerful profusion of poppies cascading throughout our county.  In each place people are connecting with stories of someone in their family or community who fought in the Great War. I am struck by what these stories tell us about qualities of courage and sacrifice, of selflessness and endurance, of looking out for each other – friend and stranger – and pulling together. They are qualities that sustained and strengthened our communities through the appalling experiences of the Great War, and they are qualities for us to treasure today.’’

Bishop Martin also preached at the incredibly moving Lord Lieutenant’s Eve of Peace service in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds.  He also visited the 15th century Row Chapel, Hadleigh, where there is a commemoration of Private Ophir Jarvis who died from injuries in the Battle of the Somme, and poppies on the entrance gate, the doorway, and throughout this beautiful, intimate place of worship.

Bishop Mike led a Remembrance Service at St Peter’s Church, Cretingham, on Sunday where a new bell will be dedicated.  In the evening he attended a beacon lighting in Beccles which recalls how beacons were lit on Armistice Day to end the darkness of the First World War.

He said: ‘‘The church bells rang out on Armistice Day marking the end of the first world war – it is what one might call a broken hallelujah – a celebration that war was over and also a mournful sounding of the loss suffered.’’