Minister’s Letter – 5th November 2020

Dear friends,

This time of the year brings poignant memories to many as together we remember and give thanks to God for the life and service of soldiers, sailors and airmen who over past decades have served and given their lives in the cause of freedom.

I recall how sad my own father used to be as I stood beside him as a child, at the Cenetaph in Coleraine, while remembering three uncles who had fought and perished as a result of WW1.

2nd Lieutenant James Carnaghan of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) who died at the Somme 1916.

Corporal Robert Sellar of the Gordon Highlanders who died 27th July 1918 and is buried in St Sever’s Cemetery Rouen, France and Thomas Sellar, who perished as a result of gassing on 22nd August 1918 and is interred at Newport News, Virginia.

Bloomfield Congregation experienced huge losses as 105 young men joined the forces and 15 of them made the supreme sacrifice and during WW2 103 members joined up, 8 killed in service. It is hard to imagine the impact this national and international emergency had on the community during these dark periods and the grief which people left at home had to endure for years to come.

My dad recalled how as a youth each Sunday night his family used to gather round the piano in 5 Sagimor Gardens, to pray and sing hymns, concluding always with “Eternal Father strong to Save: O hear us when we cry to Thee for those in peril on the sea” inspired by Psalm 107.

And so at this Remembrance season and in our current situation may I quote its final verse:-

O Trinity of love and power
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour
From rock and tempest, fire and foe
Protect them wheresoe’er they go.
And ever let there rise to thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Most Sincerely, Frank