Moving service of dedication for memorial

service of dedication for war memorial at st michaels church
service of dedication for war memorial at st michaels church

It was a case of standing room only at St Michael and All Angels Church for the service to dedicate a War Memorial saved from a Bexhill town centre church which closed down.

Almost 300 people packed into the church in Glassenbury Drive and all seats were taken long before the service began.

dedication service of war memorial at st michaels church

dedication service of war memorial at st michaels church

Those attending on Sunday included Bexhill Town Mayor, Cllr Brian Kentfield, MP Greg Barker, local Pebsham councillors Charles Clarke and Simon Elford. Members of the Bexhill Team Clergy, Fr David Reynish, Dcn Olivia Werrett and Fr Peter Shaw were also present, as was the Archdeacon of Hastings, The Venerable Philip Jones.

The standards of six local veteran groups were presented during the service as well as those of the church cub and scout troops.

Children from Pebsham Primary Academy lead the readings and prayers during the service and Bexhill Harmony Choir sang songs from both world wars.

Fr Stephen Huggins, the Vicar, was also very pleased to welcome to the service Commander Jens Schaadt who is the German Naval Exchange Officer at HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

The War Memorial came from St Andrew’s Church in Wickham Avenue where the doors shut for the last time two years ago.

The decision was made by then church wardens Mick Gregory and Ian Fishwick to save it and rehome it at St Michael’s church which was built in the 1930’s and therefore did not have one of its own.

It contains some 37 names, including those of 20 servicemen from the First World War, followed by a further 12 from the Second World War, together with the names of 5 civilians who died as a result of enemy action over the town.

In his sermon Fr Stephen spoke of how important it is to continue to remember those named on the memorial and how their lives had got tangled up with the great tragic events of world history.

He described them as ordinary people, living ordinary lives, here in Bexhill, and sometimes being called to do extraordinary things.

Fr Stephen said: “It was a great joy to share in this wonderful occasion with so many people drawn from our local community to remember those from the town who had died in two world wars.

“An especially poignant part of the service was standing with Commander Schaadt at the war memorial as we all pledged ourselves to the cause of justice and peace, and for the relief of want and suffering.’