Re­mem­ber­ing wartime mir­a­cle

Harefield Gazette - - YOUR SAY -

ALL across our towns and cities the block­buster film Dunkirk has cre­ated great in­ter­est and fascination.

There is how­ever, one ma­jor fact not men­tioned in the film.

Many of those who see the film will be in­ter­ested to learn that the sit­u­a­tion was ac­tu­ally so desperate, King Ge­orge VI called for a Na­tional Day of Prayer on May 26 1940.

In a na­tional broad­cast he asked the peo­ple of Bri­tain to pray for God’s help. Thou­sands of spe­cial ser­vices were held across the coun­try and lit­er­ally mil­lions of peo­ple poured into churches to pray. A fas­ci­nat­ing pho­to­graph shows (pic­tured be­low) shows the ex­tra­or­di­nary scene out­side West­min­ster Abbey as fright­ened peo­ple queued to pray, a scene repli­cated across the Na­tion.

Two sig­nif­i­cant events im­me­di­ately fol­lowed.

Firstly, a vi­o­lent storm arose over the Dunkirk re­gion ground­ing the Luft­waffe which had been killing thou­sands on the beaches.

Sec­ondly, a great calm de­scended on the Chan­nel, the like of which hadn’t oc­curred for a gen­er­a­tion, en­abling the hun­dreds of tiny boats to res­cue 338,000 soldiers, rather than the es­ti­mated 30,000.

It was the tim­ing of these events im­me­di­ately af­ter the Prayer Day which led peo­ple to speak of “the mir­a­cle of Dunkirk” and Sun­day June 9 was of­fi­cially ap­pointed as a Day of Na­tional Thanks­giv­ing.

Look­ing back at this and other events the Bishop of Chelms­ford wrote: “If ever a great na­tion was on the point of supreme and fi­nal disaster, and yet was saved and re­in­stated it was our­selves…it does not re­quire an ex­cep­tion­ally re­li­gious mind to de­tect in all this the Hand of God.”

At the end of 1942, af­ter the tide had turned in the War, Churchill him­self was moved to say: “I some­times have a feel­ing of in­ter­fer­ence, I want to stress that. I have a feel­ing some­times that some Guid­ing Hand has in­ter­fered.”

To co­in­cide with this film, de­tails of var­i­ous Wartime Mir­a­cles are be­ing sent to thou­sands of churches across the UK so as to give con­gre­ga­tions hope and re­as­sur­ance, much needed in our un­set­tling times.

If any­one would like this up­lift­ing in­for­ma­tion di­rectly by email, then they are wel­come to con­tact strength­en­the­faith­ful@gmail.com clearly putting Wartime Mir­a­cles in the sub­ject box. Thank you. Rev J Wil­lans. BD. Dip Theol

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