On Remembrance Sunday I led a little service for the community on the old graveyard behind the former hospital chapel. The hospital was used as a war hospital during the First World War, and many of the people suffering from shell shock and other symptoms stayed on afterwards. Former employees of the hospital said that when they died they were buried in the small graveyard behind the chapel. Unfortunately this graveyard has become very overgrown and only a couple of the flat headstones are visible.
We had about 10 people down for the 20 minute service (there was a bigger event at the war memorial about a mile away) and it seems to be well appreciated. A few of them came back to our house for a cup of tea afterwards, and we made some new friends. Definitely worth doing, and I will probably do it again next year.
The reason I did it was due to something triggered by an article in the Church Times about a year ago. It was saying that although the church has a calendar in the form of the liturgical year, the secular world has an unofficial calendar too. Sometimes the two calendars overlap, such as at Christmas and Easter. The Church has many other things like Advent and Pentecost and Ascension that are not paid much attention to outside the church. And the secular world has events like Valentines Day, Pancake Day, Halloween etc. that the church may or may not celebrate. The article was saying that perhaps we need to take more note of the secular calendar to be in tune with the bulk of society. Sometimes Fresh Expressions need to embrace the tradition and it seemed to work here!