RAF 100 Celebration Service
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13)
On a sunny May morning, we were privileged to have a visiting bell ringing team who came to kick start our celebrations through ringing the church bells, which certainly added to the air of excitement as people began to gather. It was wonderful to welcome many from our community as well as veterans, current serving service personnel, and the ATC, those who will form the future of the RAF.
We were also privileged to welcome the Standards of the National Service Veterans (RAF Branch), RAFA Scunthorpe, and the ATC 2222 Squadron (Brigg), which were presented to the Altar as a visual reminder that we do all things in, through and for God.
The service was based around the verse from Matthews Gospel, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). A verse in Scripture that reminds us of Christ’s exemplary
life in serving all whom he met. He taught and showed God’s love, healed the sick, fed the hungry, and to ensure we were in no doubt, on the night before He died, Christ washed the disciples feet (John 1-11).
We came together worshiping Almighty God, giving thanks for the Royal Air Force past and present and praying for its future. During the service we heard a brief history on the RAF in conflict, defending our skies, promoting and keeping peace worldwide. We also heard the RAF’s role in providing lifesaving humanitarian aid over the last 100 years, a role which continues today.
The Bishop of Grimsby, The Rt Rev’d David Court, gave an inspiring address on how helping those in need, the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, and standing up for peace and justice should not be left to the professionals in our armed services, but that peace starts right now, with each and every one of us for “Peace begins with a smile” (Mother Theresa of Calcutta).
After the service the Bishop joined us in the hall for refreshments and to chat and it was a wonderfully buzzing atmosphere. There was much love and laughter as we all came together sharing conversation, tea and cake. A special cake was baked for the occasion decorated with an RAF Roundel which the Bishop cheerfully cut to shouts of ‘happy birthday Royal Air Force’. A very joyful time enjoyed by all.