VE Day 75

by Michael Ford last modified 18 May, 2020 11:38 AM

The news that clergy would be allowed back into their churches for prayer and the streaming of worship came too late for many churches to change their lockdown service plans.

But that didn't stop us from celebrating VE all over the Diocese and here are just some of the events that took place.

In Laverstock, a Community VE Bunting Project was organised by St Andrew's, the local church.

A box in the church porch was the receiving point for villagers to leave a triangle they had created using anything they could find in their homes. These were then sewn into bunting by a member of the congregation and strung along the church fence.

In the Benefice of Lyneham and Woodhill, social distancing was even observed by the scarecrows all dressed up to depict not just characters from 1945 but our NHS workers too.

The Revd Margaret Preuss Higham was one of a number of our clergy who chose to hold their VE day picnic tea by their church as a visible presence in their communities.

Our schools joined in the celebrations from home. Many recorded messages or sang songs, among them were the families and community of Holy Trinity Primary Academy in Wiltshire, who recorded a virtual version of 'We'll Meet Again'.

View it here.

Most Worship and Acts of Remembrance services were still held online, but the Revd Simon Chambers Team Rector of the Clarendon Team, east of Salisbury, actually made it into his church to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, along with a bugler who was physically distanced as she played.

View the clip here.

In the Chalke Valley, the High Sheriff of Wiltshire led the Act of Commitment, while in Royal Wootton Bassett they offered an audio service podcast that featured morning prayer for VE Day with an act of rededication to peace and a recording of their own church bells.

Listen here.

In the Golden Cap Benefice at Lyme Regis, with plans for their special service cancelled due to coronavirus, they decorated the church railings with bunting and Union Flags. Over at Whitchurch Canonicorum, the last post was played, observing social distancing, at the war memorial.

Meanwhile in Calne, they held a civil service that they posted on YouTube.

View the clip here.

Our Cathedral hosted a special online Evensong with the Archdeacon of Sarum, who is also the Senior Chaplain to Wiltshire Army Cadets.

His reflection is here.

Meanwhile, a special VE Day Service with a short address from Bishop Nicholas was broadcast to residents of Salisbury.

View it here.

A special VE Day 75 Sunday morning service was broadcast across all 39 BBC Local Radio Stations. Next Sunday's will be taken by the Rt Revd Tim Thornton as Bishop to the Forces. Bishop Tim is a former Bishop of Sherborne and is fondly remembered throughout our Diocese.

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