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st peter port guernseyguernsey liberation  royal courtcrowds greeting the allied forces

A reflection from the Superintendent – Revd Nathan Falla

Having been brought up on Guernsey this weekend is very special. As Britain marked the 75th Anniversary of VE Day yesterday on 8th May, so Guernsey and Jersey mark the 75th Anniversary of Liberation Day today, 9th May (Sark on 10th and Alderney on 16th). I remember back in 1995 the media coverage of both events, the number of beacons that were lit around the UK (including in Guernsey) and then the celebrations, the parades and the firework display.

For me liberation and freedom are part of my story. One of my grandparents was evacuated, one joined the Royal Engineers and two stayed on Guernsey. I remember them sharing their stories of evacuation, occupation and liberation. Stories of resilience and hardship; cooking with hay boxes, a German Officer turning up at chapel, the lifeline that was provided by Red Cross food supplies delivered by SS Vega, the first taste of chocolate from the hand of a soldier in the British army. Their stories impact my own story.

At this time of lockdown I have been reflecting again on liberation and freedom and what it means. At a time when we are not free to do as we would like, to see who we would like, and go where we like, it may feel that our freedom has been taken away. However, we have been advised to stay home and stay safe for the benefit of everybody, not as a regime that is designed to supress and limit movement and speech. We are living as we are, to respect one another, and to show love to one another.

Those of us able to exercise outside now give people space not as a way of showing dislike or distrust but as a way of saying I want you to be safe. We have the freedom to do this. But others do not have the same freedom; they do not have somewhere safe to call home, they do not have people that they can call upon for help and support. Other people are not free.

Let us never take for granted the freedom that we have, let us celebrate the freedom that we ultimately have in Jesus Christ, and let us work and pray for a world that is free.

A Prayer of Commitment

Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind,
in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always. Amen.

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