Abbey marks 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain
Monday, 21st September 2020
Westminster Abbey marked the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication on Sunday 20th September 2020. The 112-day fight for control of Britain’s skies, between July and October 1940, was the first decisive battle in history fought entirely in the air, and one which proved to be a dramatic turning point in the Second World War.
The service was led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who said in his Bidding:
We meet in this Abbey church, where our nation so often gathers to remember, to celebrate and to grieve. Here, we give thanks for the dedication and daring of members of the Royal Air Force and allied air forces during the Battle of Britain. Their sure courage halted the advance of a terrible tyranny. They held fast in days of greatest danger. For their resilience and their skill we give thanks, for their pain and loss we grieve.
Calling to mind those days, and those individuals, we remember too all who have served and still serve in the Royal Air Force. Remembering conflict past and present in which they have served, we come before God penitent that we are so often divided and so easily tempted into violence. Now, we renew our commitment to seek out, together, the ways of peace and reconciliation.