New WW1 Church memorial resources

(Photo: Ernest Brooks)British Mark I tank during the First World War.

Churches and Christian groups across the UK are being invited to make the most of resources available to them as they commemorate the Great War and consider those dramatic and devastating times through a Christian lens.  Here is a round-up of some of the latest resources.

Youth For Christ's "Re:Quest" educational material

Youth for Christ do amazing work producing online teaching material and to mark the centenary, they have put together a helpful collection of WW1 lesson plans.  Through five lessons, 'The Blame Game', 'Unsung Heroes', 'Consider the Consequences', 'True Sacrifice', and 'True Remembrance', children can learn more about the First World War and also consider the moral questions that it and other wars pose to Christians.  Questions like "How do we treat unsung heroes in our society?" and "What does it mean to truly remember?" are issues for children and adults alike.

1914-1918 John's Gospel

The publishing arm of Scripture Gift Mission, Lifewords, is teaming up with Hope Together and the Naval, Military and Air Force Bible Society to produce a replica of the pocket copy of the Gospel of John that was given out to soldiers who left Britain to go to war in 1914.

SGM Lifewords says: "The replica contains testimonies and newly commissioned artwork, but looks and feels just like the original that was distributed to soldiers a century ago."

The front cover bears the instruction, "Please carry this in your pocket and read it every day" - advice that is still very much to be listened to.

Hope Together's "Greater Love" resources

Linking into the statement Jesus made in John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends", Hope Together have put together a 16-page booklet of ideas for churches looking to commemorate the centenary.

Coupled with it is a DVD release with a series of interviews and short films looking at the whole question of military sacrifice and how it was made then and is being made today.

One of the pieces was filmed on location at Menin Gate in Belgium, the memorial to the missing British and Commonwealth soldiers who died at the battle of Ypres.

Church of England WWI liturgy

The Church of England has released a package of liturgy specifically engaging with the centenary of the Great War.

These include selections of Bible readings, specific hymns, a selection of different kinds of prayer, material for use in a Requiem Eucharist, and an outline for a vigil service to be held on either 3 or 4 of August, remembering the day of the declaration of war.

The chair of the Church of England's Liturgical Commission, Bishop of Wakefield Stephen Platten, said: "It is hard to underestimate the significance of the First World War for our national life. The Liturgical Commission is conscious that people will wish to commemorate its centenary in a number of ways.

"It is with these in mind that the Commission has prepared these resources, specifically with parish clergy and other worship leaders in mind."