Crowds out in force for services day

By Ian Dipple Thursday 04 July 2013 Updated: 05/07 08:34

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Buy photos » Servicemen past and present and all members of the community turned out to show their appreciation for Britain’s armed forces. Pictures by Ian Dipple (s)

REDDITCH turned out in force to give thanks for the work done by servicemen and women past and present.

A sizeable crowd gathered in the town centre on Saturday (June 29) to attend the Armed Forces Day celebrations.

Wreaths were laid by groups representing all members of Redditch’s community at the start of the thanksgiving service outside the war memorial at St Stephen’s Church, following a parade from the Town Hall.

During the service prayers were said for those who gave their lives in past conflict, those currently serving across the UK and abroad and that in the future the skills learnt by young cadets would be used to bring relief from suffering and lasting peace.

Leading the service Rev Paul Lawlor, vicar at St Stephen’s and town centre chaplain, said: “We know a minority think that acts of violence are within the will of God, that cannot be.

“For Jesus summarised what it is to follow the will of God – Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.

“In the difficult choices military leaders have, may these words of Jesus be the rock on which their choices are made.”

At the end of the service the crowd gave a round of applause as a public show of appreciation for the work of the nation’s armed forces.

Staff Sgt Jeff Farnes, of the 37th Signal Regiment (Volunteers), said he was pleased with the turnout from the public.

“It’s a day for the nation to celebrate what the armed forces do for them. We are here to provide security for those that are less able to do it for themselves.”

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Buy photos» Wreaths were laid in tribute. (s)

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Buy photos» A large crowd turned out to show their thanks to the armed forces. (s)

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Buy photos» The crowd gave a round of applause to show its appreciation for the work of servicemen and women past and present. (s)

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