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Sunday, 12th November, 2 pm

The annual Civic Service of Remembrance at St Paul’s Church was both meaningful and memorable.  The Curate, the Revd Andrew Norman, welcomed over 200 people including representatives from the following organisations - Grange Town Council, Civic Society, Grange Forum, Grange Lions, Rotary Club, Soroptimists, Tangent Club, Chamber of Trade, Cumbria Fire and Rescue, RNLI, our local Liberal Democrat and Conservative party members, the Arthur John Brogden Masonic Lodge, Grange Probus, and members from Grange Girl Guiding and the Scouts, Clubs and Beavers.   All of them brought wreaths, together with one from St Paul’s Church and from Grange Church of England Primary School represented officially for the first time by Governors, Mrs Phillipa Summers, the Headteacher and pupils – which reminded us that the call to remembrance is one that unites young and old alike.
We were fortunate indeed to have the Rt Revd. Nigel McCulloch presiding at the service.  While a regular member of the congregation at St Paul’s, he is also an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Carlisle and in previous years has led the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in his role as National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion. The names of +Nigel’s father, Kenneth McCulloch and uncle, Ronald McCulloch, are both inscribed upon the Grange War Memorial, both having lost their lives in the Second World War, which means that he has a particular connection to our act of remembrance in Grange-over-Sands. The Union Flag, Royal British Legion standard and other colours were paraded up the central aisle, and the wreaths were brought to the altar by representatives of the various organizations, during the singing of the first hymn, ‘Praise my soul the King of heaven’. The act of remembrance was led by Peter Endsor, Mayor of Grange, and the lesson read by Sally Haines from the Victoria Hall. Andrew preached the sermon, based on the Beatitudes from St Matthew’s gospel, and the collection was taken for the work of the Royal British Legion. The prayers were led by the Revd George Bissett, one of the deacons at St Charles and St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church.

Following the close of service in church, after the singing of the national anthem, the congregation gathered outside the church behind members of the Flookburgh Silver Band who led the ‘parade’ down to the Ornamental Gardens, watched by many who had gathered along the route.  The wreaths were laid at the War Memorial, 'Abide with me’ was sung, and the Revd Jo Rand from the Methodist Church led the final prayers , with the standards being lowered as the sun was disappearing behind the trees.  It reminded us of that famous exhortation proclaimed at each act of remembrance, ‘at the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them’. It was a fitting tribute and end to a very worthy act of remembrance.

The Chair of Governors at Grange Church of England Primary School, writes:

When I stood watching the Remembrance parade in November 2016 it occurred to me that one of our biggest community groups (our Primary School) was missing from the parade. After a discussion at our governing body and a few emails and phone calls to Grange Town Council, a year later I am very proud to say that our school took part and was very present as part of the community.

I, together with two fellow governors joined Mrs Summers and five young people from school for the church service, the parade and the laying of the wreath at the war memorial. We were all most impressed by the service and Andrew Norman’s sermon. The parade was well organised and orchestrated.  The voice and authority of Sgt Major Rae called us all to order, with an overheard comment ‘I bet you don’t forget to clean your teeth in that house’.

The war memorial was perfect and very inclusive, the setting sun made a perfect back drop to the final act of remembrance. For us, as governors, this was partly about ensuring that Grange Primary School is part of the community. It was, however, bigger than that - it was about recognising the central act of  remembering as part of our culture and values. All those children who took part (and many more children of Grange School were involved with other community groups) were exceptionally well behaved and showed both reverence and respect.

We are all part of the legacy of the men and women who laid down their lives for our freedom, and it was a pleasure and a privilege to see the next generations taking part in that celebration.

Together we will remember them. 

Dr D Wheatcroft