Vigil Service on the 100th Anniversary of the Eve of War

St Laurence’s Church, Scalby

Vigil Service

To commemorate the beginning of the First World War, 1914 – 1918

 Sunday 3rd August 2014, 6.30pm

29 candles were lit during the Vigil Service

29 candles were lit during the Vigil Service


Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All    Who has made heaven and earth.


1.  Christ is the world’s true light, its captain of salvation,

the daystar clear and bright of every man and nation:

new life, new hope awakes where men accept his way;

freedom her bondage breaks and night is turned to day.

2.   In Christ all races meet, their ancient feuds forgetting,

the whole round world complete from sunrise to its setting:

when Christ is known as Lord men shall forsake their fear,

to ploughshare beat the sword, to pruning-hook the spear.

3.  One Lord, in one great name unite all who have known you,

cast out our pride and shame that hinder to enthrone you:

the world has waited long, has laboured long in pain,

to heal its ancient wrong: come, Prince of peace, and reign!

G.W.Briggs © OUP Ltd

Poem                    MCMXIV – Phillip Larkin (1964)

Those long uneven lines Standing as patiently As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached archaic faces Grinning as if it were all An August Bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops, the bleached Established names on the sunblinds, The farthings and sovereigns, And dark-clothed children at play Called after kings and queens, The tin advertisements For cocoa and twist, and the pubs Wide open all day—

And the countryside not caring: The place names all hazed over With flowering grasses, and fields Shadowing Domesday lines Under wheat’s restless silence; The differently-dressed servants With tiny rooms in huge houses, The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence, Never before or since, As changed itself to past Without a word – the men Leaving the gardens tidy, The thousands of marriages, Lasting a little while longer: Never such innocence again.

Bible Reading                    Micah 4 1 – 5

Collect                  Heavenly Father,

you have not made us for darkness and death,

but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt

to the light and peace of your presence,

and set the glory of your love before us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen


Prayers of Penitence

Forgiving God, in the face of death we discover

how many things are still undone,

how much might have been done otherwise.

Redeem our failure.

Bind up the wounds of past mistakes.

Transform our guilt to active love

and by your forgiveness make us whole.

We pray in Jesus’ name.              Amen


Coventry Litany of Reconciliation

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,

Father, forgive

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,

Father, forgive

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,

Father, forgive

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,

Father, forgive

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,

Father, forgive

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,

Father, forgive

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,

Father, forgive

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things

in your beloved Son, the King of all:

govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,

and bring the families of the nations,

divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,

to be subject to his just and gentle rule;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.        Amen

 Bible Reading    Psalm 46

A story of two of the fallen (see separate page)


1.  For the healing of the nations,

Lord we pray with one accord;

for a just and equal sharing

of the things that life affords.

To a life of love in action

help us rise and pledge our word.

2.  Lead us, Father, into freedom,

from despair your world release;

that, redeemed from war and hatred,

all may come and go in peace.

Show us how through care and goodness

fear will die and hope increase.

3.  All that kills abundant living,

let it from the earth be banned;

pride of status, race or schooling,

dogmas that obscure your plan.

In our common quest for justice

may we hallow life’s brief span

4.  You, creator God, have written

your great name on humankind;

for our growing in your likeness,

bring the life of Christ to mind;

that by our response and service

earth its destiny may find

 (Fred Kaan) Copyright 1968 Stainer & Bell Ltd


For the Fallen – Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, England mourns for her dead across the sea. Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres. There is music in the midst of desolation And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young, Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted, They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; They sit no more at familiar tables of home; They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound, Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, To the innermost heart of their own land they are known As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain, As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, To the end, to the end, they remain.

Bible Reading                    1 John 3 11 – 18

Address – Revd. Alastair Ferneley

Choir Anthem  

1.  A century passes, memories will fade;

war’s sun goes down, sharp pain is hid in shade.

Yet still we pray for peace, as those men prayed;

we will remember them.

2.  Ten times ten thousand fell amid that rage.

What is the gain we measure from that age,

once reaped from carnage on that harrowed stage?

We will remember them.

 3.  While some were buried, others have no grave,

unmarked they fell, yet all, we say, were brave,

and still we stand in thanks for all they gave:

we will remember them.

4.   Then let us work and move and strive for peace

until the grace of God can bring release,

and then all nations sing and never cease: Alleluia.

Andrew Pratt © 2012 Stainer and Bell Ltd

Prayer of commemoration

Remember, Lord, those whose stories were unspoken and untold.

Jesus, remember them when you come into your kingdom.

Remember, Lord, those whose minds were darkened and disturbed by memories of war.

Jesus, remember them when you come into your kingdom

Remember, Lord, those who suffered in silence, and those whose bodies were disfigured by injury and pain.

Jesus, remember them when you come into your kingdom.

Father of all, remember your holy promise, and look with love on all your people, living and departed. On this day we especially ask that you would hold for ever all who suffered during the First World War, those who returned scarred by warfare, those who waited anxiously at home, and those who returned wounded, and disillusioned; those who mourned, and those communities that were diminished and suffered loss. Remember too those who acted with kindly compassion, those who bravely risked their own lives for their comrades, and those who in the aftermath of war, worked tirelessly for a more peaceful world. And as you remember them, remember us, O Lord; grant us peace in our time and a longing for the day when people of every language, race, and nation will be brought into the unity of Christ’s kingdom. This we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

As we ask for deliverance from the forces of destruction, so we pray in the words that Jesus gave us:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

for thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.  Amen.      

Act of Remembrance

We have gathered today to remember all those from this community who were caught up in the courageous but tragic events of the First World War. We remember those who were killed in action, or by disease, the bereaved, the lost, the families which were shattered, the wounded, maimed and injured, those who held in silence unspeakable memories of warfare.

As we remember those who fought and those who remained anxiously at home in this community, let us pray that God will heal all memories, speak a word of peace, and bring us his healing.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw us to himself and cleanse us from our sins, that we may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


The reading, or calling of the names

Jack Appleby

Thomas  Armstrong

George Bird

George Bowman,

David Boyes

Frank Collinson

Tom Carr

Arnold Coultas

Reginald Coultas

Albert Dunkley

Frank Dunn

Willie Forster

Gerard Hill

Desmond  Inman

Edwin Lazenby

Alec McCombie

Harry Mitchell

Lawrence Rowntree

Edward Ruddock

Thomas Shearsmith

Edward Shepherd,

Charles Sillery

John Sillery

William Steel

John Watson

Arthur Webb

Richard Wilkinson

Lionel Wordsworth

Fred Yewdall

After all the names from WW1 inscribed on the memorial (and two others) have been audibly read:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

we will remember them.

We will remember them

Silence is kept and candles will be lit by those in the congregation who wish to do so


Poem    If Ye Forget         G.A. Studdert Kennedy

Let me forget — Let me forget, I am weary of remembrance, And my brow is ever wet, With the tears of my remembrance, With the tears and bloody sweat, Let me forget.

If ye forget — If ye forget, Then your children must remember, And their brow be ever wet, With tears of their remembrance, With tears and bloody sweat, If ye forget.

The Commitment to Peace

Let us pledge ourselves today to live as good neighbours, to honour the past, to care for all who are in need, and to live at peace among ourselves and with all people.

Lord God, Father of all,

We pledge ourselves

to serve you and this neighbourhood,

to bring relief to all who are in need,

and comfort to the sad, lonely, and distressed;

Keep us ever mindful of the struggles

and achievements of former generations,

and of this place where we make our home,

now, and in the days to come.   Amen

Strengthen our hearts, and hands, and minds, O Lord,

to work together for peace;

to see you in one another;

and to seek your kingdom above all things;

that your will may be seen to be done

and your kingdom come,

through Jesus Christ,

the Lord of lords and King of kings.          Amen


1.  God of grace and God of glory, On Thy people pour Thy power. Now fulfil thy Church’s story, Bring her bud to glorious flower. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the facing of this hour,
2.  Lo! the hosts of evil ’round us, Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways. From the fears that long have bound us, Free our hearts to faith and praise. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the living of these days,
3.  Cure Thy children’s warring madness, Bend our pride to Thy control. Shame our wanton selfish gladness, Rich in goods and poor in soul. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
4.  Set our feet on lofty places, Gird our lives that they may be, Armoured with all Christ-like graces, As we set your people free. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Lest we fail the world or Thee.                (H.E. Fosdick) Copyright the estate of H.E. Fosdick

 The Blessing

God grant to the living grace,

the departed rest,

the Church, the Queen,

the Commonwealth and all the world peace and concord;

and the blessing of God Almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you  and remain with you always.



29 candles were lit during the service by members of the congregation who chose to come forward and do this.  The names of 29 fallen were read during the service; the 27 men on the war memorial plus Major John Sillery, brother of Lt Col Charles Sillery who is remembered alongside him in a memorial window in the church and Private Edwin Lazenby who is buried in the churchyard.  That 29 candles were lit is pure serendipity.



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