St Hugh Eyres Monsell

Parish Newsletter

November 2021


Remembering and Renewal.

November is a month of remembering.  How can we make it also a month of renewal and church growth?  As October draws to a close and November begins, the Church of England will see some of its largest congregations outside of Christmas.

For many this will involve being at events to mark Armistice Day, which this year is also Remembrance Sunday on November 14th. Whether this is a service at a local memorial led by a minister or a large event in a cathedral, many of those who come will be ‘returning’ to church. Many more will attend ‘remembering’ services around All Souls Day, taking time to think of those they grieve in a more personal way.

Research around Life Events showed that attending these kinds of events is valued by families as part of their connection with church, and can be another step on the journey of faith. For bereaved families, the reflective space can be hugely helpful, whether the local minister conducted a recent funeral service, or whether they are remembering someone who shaped their life many years previously.

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester reflects on how lighting a candle, or simply pausing in the silence, perhaps year after year, might help people:

“I think people will come, and come back again, and then they become part of the church’s story and of Jesus’ story, and they engage in ways that very often we don’t get to see.”

Research with baptism families also showed that Remembrance Sunday is one of the occasions when parents will try to bring children to church, and many more come along as part of uniformed organisations.

One father talked movingly of his memories of big services in a local cathedral, the sense of awe that he experienced, and his desire for his child to discover the same.  Taking time to invite families, welcome them well, give them space to explore their own journey of faith and prayer are all important moments. Don’t lose courage!  Just ask them to come.

Love, loss and remembering for Children

Autumn has traditionally been a time when Christians explore the big questions about life and death.  Watching the leaves fall and the nights draw in is an opportunity for all ages to think about love and loss and remember in special ways.

Children ask questions about death for all kinds of reasons.  It may come from seeing a local war memorial, or closer to home with the death of a pet. Or maybe your child has lost a great-grandparent, grandparent, a family friend, a teacher, a neighbour, an aunt or uncle.  For some children, the impact of loss has huge consequences, especially if it’s the death of a parent or a sibling. However and whenever those questions come, there are good ways to remember those we see no longer with family at home:

• Light a candle on important days and say a prayer. “Loving God, thank you for_________ and help us to remember them well. ”  This is a simple prayer to say together.

• Gather some items that remind you of that person – letters they wrote, photos of them, items of clothing – and keep them in a nice box.  Children can add things to the box.

• Taking part in charities connected to the person who died; Race for Life is a family friendly event that can honour people who died from cancer, for example.

• Children can help taking care of a gravesite – pulling weeds, choosing flowers or other items to bring at special times, washing a memorial stone, etc.

The church also has ways of remembering those we love who have died. This happens at the start of November, at All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. A week later, at Remembrance Sunday, we remember those who died in wars, and pray for peace.

At All Saints’ Day (November 1st), we remember those Christians who have died, who we don’t know personally.  A “saint” is someone whose life shows us how to follow Jesus.  There are all kinds of saints – teachers, artists, scientists, social reformers, troublemakers, writers, and many more.  Is there a saint who shares your child’s name?  Their birthday?  Think of well-known saints, like St George for example, and discover together who they were and what they did.

On All Souls’ Day (November 2nd), the church remembers all those we know who have died.  Like many churches, St Hugh’s has a special service where we invite people to add any names they would like read out to a list – we can hear the names that mean something to us and light a candle to remember them.  We have a prayer tree where you can add the names of loved ones.  Why not com in and find out how you and your child can remember along with the whole church family.

If your child is struggling with a bereavement, there are resources available:

Child Bereavement UK: (

Grief Encounter (

Winston’s Wish ( 

SANDS ( is for anyone coping with the death of a baby, including siblings.

At A Loss ( can help you find the right services for bereavement in your area.  Your child’s GP may also be able to offer help and support.

Dying Matters

Cruse Bereavement Care

Forthcoming Services and Events.

 All Souls Services: Tuesday 2nd November 9.30am
 Sunday 14th November Remembrance Sunday.
 Patronal Festival with Confirmation Service: Friday 19th November 7.30pm with Buffet.  Bishop Norman is our special guest and preacher.

 Wednesday 17th December  11am Willowbank School KS3 & KS4 Christmas Carol Concert.

 Saturday 18th December 6pm St Hugh Christmas Carol Service with mulled wine

 Friday 24th December 8pm Midnight Mass.

 Saturday 25th December 10.45am Christmas Day Service.





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