21 Sep 2014
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended A Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication to mark Battle of Britain Sunday at Westminster Abbey on Sunday 21st September 2014.
This year marks the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the first decisive battle in history fought entirely in the air. Battle of Britain Sunday commemorates a dramatic turning point in the history of the Second World War.
In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: 'Once again we come together on Battle of Britain Sunday in this House of Kings and House of Prayer to give thanks for the dedication and heroism of members of the Royal Air Force and the allied air forces in that remarkable struggle for air supremacy over Britain in October 1940. Their courage marked a turning point in the war, for without their bravery it is hard to see how the Second World War could have been won.
'As we reflect today on their gallantry and fortitude, we remember all who have served and still serve in the Royal Air Force. We honour all who fight in the service of freedom; we express penitence for the suffering and destruction caused by armed conflicts; and we renew our commitment to work for justice, freedom, and decency.
'Today we pray especially for the Royal Air Force and all those who continue to work, often in immense danger, for justice and peace. We ask for God's guidance that we may hold courageously to the values we profess, that we may indeed do his will.'
Master Aircrew Philip Townsend, 56 (R) Squadron, read Isaiah 40: 21-end and Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford KCB CBE ADC RAF, Chief of the Air Staff, read St Mark 10: 35-45.
The sermon was preached by the Venerable Jonathan Chaffey QHC RAF, Chaplain-in-Chief, Royal Air Force.
Prayers were led by the Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster, and read by Warrant Officer Shobha Earl RAUXAF; Linda Martin, daughter of Wing Commander P Farnes DFM RAF; and the Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence.
The service included an Act of Remembrance during which the Battle of Britain Roll of Honour was borne from the Chapel of St George to the Sacrarium by Battle of Britain veterans and others. At the start of the service the Standard of Number 54 Squadron was borne through the Abbey church and laid upon the High Altar.
The service was sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub Organist. The Central Band of the RAF, conducted by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs RAF, also played at the service.
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