Marlborough Court Care Home in Thamesmead was the venue for the historic occasion of the first ever Flame of Forgiveness event, which was held as part of the Flame of Forgiveness Fortnight to commemorate the centenary of World War I.
Flame of Forgiveness Fortnight is a new initiative between care homes and schools to commemorate the centenary of WW1. The project has been launched by the team at Four Seasons Health Care’s Marlborough Court Care Home in Thamesmead alongside their local MP Teresa Pearce and it is being supported by The Forgiveness Project charity and Care England. NAPA are also working with Marlborough Court on the project.
A host of guests including Teresa Pearce MP, Bexley Mayor Howard Marriner, Care England’s Professor Martin Green, Sylvie Silver from NAPA, Marina Cantacuzino of the Forgiveness Project, Linda Delieu of Trust Thamesmead and schoolchildren and teachers from the local school, Bexley Business Academy.
Built on munitions land from Woolwich Arsenal, which still exists three miles away, Marlborough Court held the beacon lighting ceremony on October 6th where the local schoolchildren jointly lit torches alongside a resident at the home Catherine Thompson.
The home was decorated with artwork depicting forgiveness which had been created by the children and the pupils also read moving poems about forgiveness.
Home Manager Maggie Candy said: “It was a very moving evening, with the community joining together to commemorate WW1 in the spirit of forgiveness. I’d like to thank Teresa Pearce MP and all of our other guests for their support.”
MP Teresa Pearce said: “I was delighted to work with Marlborough Court on this important project which focuses on remembrance and reconciliation. Forgiveness is so important – if you carry hatred then it weighs you down, and I believe all the guests at this inaugural Flame of Forgiveness event took that away as a strong message.”
Throughout the fortnight the home will be working with the local school and community to offer opportunities to get together to discuss aspects of war and WW1 from a forgiveness aspect. Children at the school will be encouraged to write poetry or sing, make flags and give their thoughts on forgiveness.
The Flame of Forgiveness Fortnight will run for two weeks until 19th October 2014 and care homes across the country are being invited to team up with a local school and light a beacon in remembrance of WWI as well as plan activities that communities can get involved with.
For updates, follow @WorldWar1FOF on Twitter.