Once in a lifetime at Syleham


I had the privilege today of dedicating a new war memorial at Syleham, it’s a wonderful white Porrtland stone slab that the photo fails totally to do justice to. Syleham is right up against the Waveney in the edge of the diocese and was originally an important river crossing, which is perhaps why Bigod took sanctuary there. (The church door still has a sanctuary handle.) Despite polls telling us that many people today see religion as a force for bad not good, and the Secular Society calling for non-religious remembrance ceremonies, large numbers turned out today here, at Ipswich where I was this morning, and all over the country, and in many places the church is the preferred place for a memorial like this – and the place where people can come quietly as well as in company to find their own sanctuary. My belief is that is only as people make their own peace with God in this way that peace will ever really grow in the world. Until then we are trapped in the self-preserving and competitive world of the natural creation,nand our life too will be red in tooth and claw. How important it is though to take care that if we really are being transformed by the love of God, it really helps others and is not just a fine new set of clothes for us to wear.