St Helen's Church
St Michael's Church
You’re Not Forgotten
During the Second World War the allies were forced to retreat from the Philippines. Some of their soldiers were left behind, and became prisoners of the Japanese. The men called themselves “ghosts”, souls unseen by their nation, and on the infamous Bataan Death March were forced to walk over 70 miles, knowing that those who were slow or weak would be bayoneted by their captors or die from dysentery and lack of water. Those who made it through the march spent the next three years in a hellish prisoner-of-war camp. By early 1945, 513 men were still alive at the Cabanatuan prison camp, but they were giving up hope. The allied forces were on their way back, but the POW’s had heard the frightening news that prisoners were being executed as the Japanese retreated from the advancing soldiers.
Their wavering hope was however met by one of the most magnificent rescues of wartime history. In an astonishing feat 120 allied soldiers and 200 Filipino guerrillas outflanked 8000 Japanese soldiers to rescue the POW’s.
Alvie Robbins was one of the rescuers. He describes how he found a prisoner muttering in a darkened corner of his barracks, tears coursing down his face.
“I thought we’d been forgotten,” the prisoner said.
“No, you’re not forgotten,” Robbins said softly. “You’re heroes. We’ve come for you.”
I think that in our national life we need a little bit of help right now don’t you?
Often in life we can start to give up hope, to feel that God has forgotten us, abandoned us to dark and hurtful experiences, but the cross of Christ reminds us, “No, you’re not forgotten” and the resurrection gives us the assurance that someday we too will see our rescuer face to face and be liberated from the distresses of this life. Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to intervene and he promises to return, so that we too will hear him say, “I’ve come for you.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the harvest supper and I hope you did too, many thanks to all who made it a really good evening, raising money for Church funds was the icing on the cake of course.
Lancaster city Brass at St Michael’s On Wyre
We welcome Lancaster City Brass to St Michael’s On Wyre church for a Festival of Remembrance on Friday, the 8th of November at 7:30 pm. They have recently had to move into larger practice accommodation as they grow in number and are planning a special programme for us of inspiring and moving pieces, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings at remembrance this year. Tickets currently on sale from Michael Fleet, Tony Ball, Christine Fleet and the vicar, £7.50 including refreshments. There will be a raffle and poppies will be sold for the Royal British Legion appeal.
With all good wishes
The Rev. Andrew Wilkinson