Garden memorial unveiled in King’s Lynn for those lost in conflict

Beams of sunshine burst through the overcast afternoon sky as a garden of remembrance was unveiled in a west Norfolk town at the weekend.

The dedication of the garden at St Faith's Church, in Gaywood, King's Lynn, was led by the former and current rectors Rev Canon Sally Theakston and Rev Canon Beryl Wood.

The Rev Theakston, who had worked at the church for seven years before leaving to become rector of Dereham and district, started the dedication.

She said: 'In this place of remembrance we give thanks for all who have served the nation in the armed forces; especially those who have died in conflict and those who have been bereaved.

'We shall dedicate this garden of remembrance to the glory of God and as a sacred place to remember the costliness of human evil and those who have given their lives to stand against it.

'It shall be a place to honour love and commitment, courage and dedication, self-sacrifice and service.'

She continued: 'This must also be a place for the future; a place of prayer and commitment to seek peace and justice for all people on earth.'

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West Norfolk Council deputy mayor Trevor Manley read a passage from the Bible before he unveiled the stone in the garden which is inscribed with Lest We Forget.

The Last Post then echoed around the church gardens and was followed by a moment of silence before the blessing of the crosses, prayers and the national anthem.

The previous war memorial in the church gardens was a wooden shelter, which was torn down after years of disrepair and vandalism.

The Rev Theakston said: 'The decision was made to take it down and for a more fitting memorial put in the gardens.

'There were many discussions about what should happen but finally it was decided to have this garden of remembrance, which is a small replica of the nearby Tower Gardens memorial in King's Lynn.

'It is still very important to have these places of remembrance today. Ten years ago very few young people were affected by war, but clearly the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have put the issue back in people's hearts and minds.'

The Rev Wood added: 'I think it is wonderful that this day has finally come. At last there is a place here people can come to remember which is so important for local people.'

The King's Lynn Branch of the Royal British Legion helped raise the �550 needed for the garden.

Jerry Tann, chairman of the branch, said there has always been a need for a place of remembrance at the church.

He said: 'After the first world war there used to be an area at the top of the church where people could go to remember and have a moment to themselves.

'But after the second world war, the people of Gaywood and the British Legion got together and had a shelter placed in the gardens which was used as a memorial.

'The shelter was then removed because it had fallen into disrepair, but it is lovely to see this garden of remembrance opened.

'The great thing about a garden is that people can come whenever they want to – like the birthday of someone they have lost or on the day they died.'