November Newsletter 2018

Remembrance Sunday  11th November 2018


Having attended around 63 Remembrance Sunday services this next Remembrance Sunday will probably be the most important in my lifetime for 2 reasons.

First it is the Centenary of the cessation of hostilities for the “war to end all wars”.

Second it is the Centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force.

We will have a very significant Royal Air Force theme to our service with readings and intercessions to be given by ex-regular RAF service personnel.

We are fortunate that the Reverend Clive French will be officiating at the service.

As an ex-Chaplain to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines all branches of the Armed Services will be represented at the service.

Researching heroes/heroines of WW1 I found 3 people each with a very strong Christian faith who made a great contribution to history but never fired a shot.


William Harold Coltman, VC, DCM & Bar, MM & Bar (17 November 1891 – 29 June 1974)

He was a member of the Plymouth Brethren congregation and initially was a conscientious objector.

He later enlisted as a stretcher bearer. He had once expressed the hope that future generations would know nothing of war, beyond what they read in books.


Nurse Edith Cavell, the World War I British nurse who is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers in Brussels from all sides without distinction.

She and Belgian and French colleagues helped over 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium.

She was arrested, tried with 33 others by a German military court, found guilty of ‘assisting men to the enemy’ and shot by a German firing squad on October 12 1915.

The daughter of the Vicar of Swarsedon in Norfolk; she was a true and brave Christian.

Her last words before she was shot were:

Standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough.
I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.


Opinions were divided over the role of chaplains in World War One – poets Robert Graves and Siegfried Sasoon for example, were highly critical of them.

But despite that, some became well-known, including Woodbine Willie (Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy) who won the Military Cross (MC) for his bravery in 1917 at Messines Ridge after running into no man’s land to help the wounded during an attack on the German frontline.

The nickname came from his generosity in doling our cigarettes to troops on the way back from battle, many of them traumatised and wounded.

A measure of the impact made by Woodbine Willie, is the reaction to his death in 1929, at the age of only 46.

King George V sent a telegram of condolence to his family; ex-servicemen sent a wreath with a packet of Woodbines at the centre; 100 unemployed men marched from the Labour Exchange to Worcester Cathedral to pay their respects; 1,700 people filed past his coffin in a single day as it lay in a Liverpool church.

During the course of the war 185 chaplains were killed and three were awarded the Victoria Cross.

On Remembrance Sunday we will in particular remember the members of the Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force.

In these highly technological days it is difficult to imagine how brave the fighter pilots over the Western Front were.

Although fixed wing aircraft were developed in the early 1900s a serviceable parachute with a ripcord was not manufactured until 1919 which was a touch inconvenient for the WW1 pilots.

The static line parachute was useless in a mortally damaged plane.

One WW1 pilot who was killed in action in 1917 was Major J B T Leighton.

His great nephew Sir Michael Leighton Bt has written a short book or poems about war from the Boer War to the present day.

There will be a selection of readings from these poems during the service.

We look forward to seeing you at Bagard on 11/11.




Jim Pearce

Lay Worship Assistant                            


Prayer requests

We continue to pray for all those who are sick, suffering or in need and especially for Chris Stow, David Paton.


Harvest Festival

Many thanks to all who attended.

More importantly thanks to all for your generosity in donating produce and then by your enthusiastic bidding raising the sum of 310€ which will be divided between Entraide Protestante and Restos de Coeur.


Church Directory

The revised church directory of members and friends of St Michael’s can be picked up at services in Bagard or Uzès.

We have printed sufficient for one copy per household.

Those friends who live at a distance will be sent electronic copies.


Electoral Roll

We wish to keep the electoral roll as accurate as possible. Your name can be added to the Roll at any time during the year – should you wish to put your name forward, please contact Jacqui Witting, the Electoral Roll Officer, at


CSF Provence Gard (CSFPG)

For someone affected, cancer can turn their world upside down.

Our trained Active Listeners offer vital emotional support, accompany clients to medical consultations to help with translations, and provide practical assistance during times of crisis.

We also offer “drop in” days usually on the first Monday of each month at the home of Pippa and Tim Forster, 25 Chemin du Périguil, 30400 Mons. Tel. 04 66 07 29 96

If you or someone you know needs our help you can call the 24 hour Helpline 04 66 81 18 58 or email   


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