As I write, it has just been remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day (11 November) which means the sacrifice of so many has been remembered and appreciated in parades and services throughout the country. Believing that it was worth it to risk everything to protect our liberty and freedom from tyranny, millions of people put themselves in danger, some even paying the ultimate price.

As a former member of the armed services I am grateful that I did not have to face an active conflict situation, although some of my contemporaries did, but I stood ready to protect that most precious of things, our freedom to live without dictatorial domination and to be able to express personal views without being locked up for it.

The two World Wars may seem a distant memory to some, and only a film and book record to most, but we live today with the heritage of the soldiers’ sacrifice, with gratitude.

At ‘Men’s Shed’ recently, I have been working with a team constructing a model of the Romsey Abbey building as part of their celebration of 900 years. Now…that is a fair bit beyond anyone’s memory in Romsey, but, we live today with the heritage of years of prayer, worship, the honouring of God’s Word and Christian witness in the town, and just like we are grateful for the soldiers’ sacrifice on our behalf, so should we be grateful for those who have participated in the spiritual warfare against an all-too-real enemy that seeks to take away our freedom and keep us in bondage.

What should our response be now?

Firstly be grateful. Give thanks to God for everyone who has worked to give us such a rich heritage and not to take for granted what a privilege we have living here today.

Secondly, work to preserve our freedom, resisting those who try to pervert righteousness and godly living.

And lastly, to live in such a way that our lives leave a blessing and heritage for those who come after us, maybe even for 900 years!