A NUMBER of Remembrance Sunday services will take place across St Helens next month to honour those that gave the ultimate sacrifice during conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries.    


As in previous years, residents wishing to pay their respects are invited to congregate at Victoria Square, St Helens Town Centre, on Sunday, November 12 at 10.30am where a parade - led by Armed Forces veterans and young representatives from the cadets, scouts and guides - will make its way from Birchley Street to the cenotaph near St Helens Town Hall.    


Key dignitaries including the Mayor of St Helens Borough and Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Lynn Clarke; Council Leader David Baines and MP for St Helens South and Whiston, Marie Rimmer, are among those expected to attend.  


The ceremony – which will be signed by an interpreter – will open with a welcome and prayers from Revd Rachel Shuttleworth before the square observes a two-minute silence at 11am.      


After the two-minute silence, the ceremony will continue with words of commemoration and readings from veterans as well as performances from Valley Brass Band and Anna the Golden Age Songbird - before the laying of wreathes and planting of crosses.   


Afterwards, a St Helens Archive exhibition of historic materials will be on display in St Helens Town Hall where Anna the Golden Age Songbird will perform a number of wartime hits, with light refreshments available.   


Over in Newton-le-Willows, the focal point will be the war memorial at Earlestown Town Hall, with the event due to get underway at 10.45am.

St Helens Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron; St Helens North MP Conor McGinn; Lord Dave Watts and a representative from the Lord Lieutenants office are among those expected to attend, as well as a number of local schools and community groups. 


After the parade, a church service, led by Reverend Tim Griffiths, will be held at St John’s Church, followed by refreshments at Newton Function Room on Patterson Street.


Elsewhere in the borough, there will be public services at:

  • The war memorial at the junction of Burrows Lane and St Helens Road, Eccleston Park, 10.50am
  • St Anns Church, Rainhill at 10.30am
  • Vista Road Remembrance Garden in Haydock at 2.45pm
  • All Saints Parish Church in Rainford at 10am, with light refreshments served in the village hall following the service


Small services will also be held the day before on Armistice Day (November 11) from 10.45am in Victoria Square, Earlestown, Rainford and Crank – while local primary schools will gather for an annual service at Billinge’s Remembrance Garden on Friday, November 10 from 10.40am.


Cllr Lynn Clarke, Mayor of St Helens Borough and Armed Forces Champion, said: “Remembrance Sunday is a fitting opportunity for us to honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country by defending our freedoms and protecting our way of life.  


“We ask that you join us in attending a commemoration service to help ensure their memory lives on forever.”   


Cllr Anthony Burns, cabinet member for wellbeing, culture and heritage, added: “Remembrance Sunday is the most important occasion on our events calendar, with hundreds of people - young and old - turning out each year to pay their respects at a number of services across the borough and this year will be no different.   


“Our borough has more than played its part in the many wars and conflicts throughout history. While many have lived to tell their stories, we’ve sadly lost a lot along the way too who gave their tomorrow for our today.”