Methodist youth to hold services of Remembrance on Twitter

By staff writers
10 Nov 2011

Young Methodists are holding two services of Remembrance on the social networking website Twitter on Sunday - raising awareness of groups working for peace and supporting war veterans and victims.

The events will take place at 10.15am GMT on Friday 11 November (Armistice Day) and Sunday 13 November. They are thought to be the first Remembrance services of their kind in Britain, employing social networking and micro-blogging.

'Twitter Remembrance' will feature prayers and readings as well as hymns and music linked from YouTube. There will also be a two-minute Twitter silence to remember those who have died in, or as a result of, war.

Elements of the service will be live-tweeted by @Poppy_Tweet and will include contributions from a variety of people, including the President of the Methodist Conference in Britain, the Rev Leo Osborn.

James Thomas, from Cardiff, came up with the idea. "I started the project on Wednesday night when I realised that no one had done a Twitter-based Remembrance service before, so I decided to start one," he said. "We hope to engage young people and other people who wouldn't otherwise engage with Remembrance, whilst raising awareness for the Royal British Legion, Peace Pledge Union and other related charities."

The Rev Joanne Cox, Evangelism in Contemporary Culture Officer for the Methodist Church in Britain, has written a special Twitter sermon, designed to be delivered in a number of short tweets.

She said: "Remembrance is a powerful opportunity for us all to stop in the midst of life. As we stop, and as we remember people who have fought for peace in so many different ways, we are also responding to the invitation to be people of peace and courage ourselves."

The group aims to bring a traditional Remembrance service experience to those who are unable to attend a formal act of remembrance for any reason. It is run entirely by volunteers and, although it is not formally affiliated with the Royal British Legion and the Peace Pledge Union, the group hopes to raise awareness for these, and similar, organisations.

The Methodists' decision to include peace organisations alongside veterans' bodies will be welcomed by those who are concerned that Remembrance in public life has been increasingly 'militarised' in recent years.

The majority tradition in the Methodist Church is that of the the 'just war', but the Methodist Peace Fellowship (http://www.mpf.org.uk/) was founded in 1933 to inform and unite Methodists who covenanted together "to renounce war and all its works and ways", and continues to this day.

The Royal British Legion (http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/) provides help and welfare to the serving and ex-Service community and their families.

The Peace Pledge Union (http://www.ppu.org.uk/) promotes the wearing of white poppies for peace, and its pledge declares: "War is a crime against humanity. I renounce war, and am therefore determined not to support any kind of war. I am also determined to work for the removal of all causes of war."

* Read Ekklesia's report 'Re-imagining Remembrance': http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/research/reimagining_remembrance

[Ekk/3]

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License. Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.