Bishop commemorates 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain

Bishop Simon Burton Jones has attended a service to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which is officially marked on Tuesday 15 September.

Speaking at the event which took place at Biggin Hill RAF Chapel on Sunday, Bishop Simon said that our knowledge that the Allies ultimately won the war, influences our perception of what was experienced at the time:  

"Those who did not consciously live through those nightmarish days, which is most of the population today, can find it hard to grasp the fear people would have felt.  The first thing we learn about World War Two is that the Allies won it.

He continued:

"No, there was nothing inevitable about victory at that point.

"Which makes the Battle of Britain, won decisively by the RAF, one of the key turning points of the war, and perhaps the first one."

Bishop Simon went on to commend not only the courage of the RAF pilots, as well as pilots from other nationalities, but also to remember the contribution made by the many people on the ground - men and women  - without whom the pilots would not have been able to fly:

"These and many more ensured the war effort succeeded at a pivotal moment.  That’s what a society looks like when it pulls in the same direction.  Yes, there were gifted, brave individuals in the sky, but the unseen work of the teams around them should not go unremembered."

In closing, he spoke of the debt we owe to all those who took part in this pivotal battle:

"Sometimes the future hangs by a thread and comes down to the courage of a handful.  But always there is a God in heaven whose character is justice and mercy, and whose purpose it is to bring us to our true destiny in Christ."

Download his address in full here


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