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February 2014 - Two Centenaries

2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War, which led to the hideous slaughter and terrible injury of millions, and it changed our world for ever. Much will be made of this, right up to 2018-19, as people commemorate the appalling battles, the armistice and the treaty which ended the conflict.

It was called the Great War, for no-one knew that another world war would follow before very long. There will, rightly, be much said and written about what lessons should be learnt - the utter futility of war, the incalculable cost in human suffering, the duty to care for all victims and the ever-present need to establish peace in our own times. This will be highlighted on Remembrance Sunday for several years. It is entirely proper that this centenary should be observed in our country and many others.

More locally, 2014 will be the celebration of the centenary of the re-dedication of St James's Church, Murton. This much-loved church had its roof destroyed in a storm in 1835 and for many decades was a ruin. In November 1914, due to the efforts of the Revd William Ball-Wright and his successor, the Revd R O Walker - and their supporters - the church was rebuilt and rededicated by the Archbishop of York. As regular readers know, we have ambitious plans to celebrate this by developing the building for greater social use and to hold a service of rededication near the anniversary date. Exact details are not decided yet, but we are excited about all has happened so far by the excellent work of the Development Committee and all who have supported our fundraising.

So 2014 is both solemn and joyful - and it is good that both these centenaries should be marked and observed.


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