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Dear Friends........


November. Getting towards the end of yet another year. How will you look back on 2023?


November is very much a month of remembering. 1st November is known as All Saints Day when all the ‘Saints’ with no specific Saints Day are remembered, and to many Christians this means anyone of faith who has died. At Reigate Park we, of course, also have our Memorial Book service in October, but this is mainly for those who have died recently.


Remembrance Sunday will this year be celebrated on 12th November. On this day we remember those who died while fighting so that we can now live in freedom. For a number of years, up until 2019, I had joined with others in a choir at Redhill URC on Remembrance Sunday for the Civic Service, but in 2021 and 2022 I was able to join with RPC and St Luke’s Church at the War Memorial in Church Road. It was great to see so many people local to South Park who never, or rarely, attend either of these two churches, all celebrating together the lives of the brave local people who died in World Wars I and II.

In the United States of America, they hold a different type of remembering when they celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. It is thought this was started to remember the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the ‘New World’ in 1621. The feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native American Wampanoag people and 53 survivors of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Apparently, so I’ve just read, an earlier Thanksgiving celebration was held in Virginia in 1619 by English settlers who had just landed aboard the ship ‘Margaret’!


How we remember those who have died varies greatly. Sadly, we have lost several people connected to Reigate Park in the last few months and I have been present at a number of funerals in 2023, some for people closer to me than others. It is interesting what people decide to recall about the loved one’s life, and I frequently think that it would have been so nice to know some of those things while they were still alive. An example I always remember, for those who knew him, is the life of Peter Warren. I was amazed to learn at his funeral about some of the things that he had got up to in his younger life.


In years gone by, we used to include potted obituaries of church members in The Record and there have been suggestions that maybe we could restart this practice. It would be interesting to hear if any of you have an opinion on this subject. Or maybe we should have people still with us write about their younger self and the exploits they enjoyed? It could make interesting reading!




Taken from the November Edition of The Record

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