Feast, Remembrance Day, Tradition & COVID

Posted on: 22nd October 2021

Archive footage of Pendeen Band in St Just

Feast, Remembrance Day, Tradition & COVID – some facts rather than speculation/ assumption.

With Feast and Remembrance Day celebrations/ events, the Town Council is a participant and supporter rather than lead organiser. So, for Feast Sunday this year, we were contacted by leaders at St Just Church and advised, because of COVID, they wanted to keep numbers down so would prefer the Town Council not to invite neighbouring Mayors, MP etc. This went to a Town Council meeting to decide how to handle invitations and of course decide on the Civic Awards usually presented that day. That went to a Town Council meeting that I was not at (before charges of ‘outsiders disrespecting tradition’ is laid at my door) where it was proposed that, in respect of the wishes of the church, Town Council would only invite local organisation representatives and that rather than parades and reception after, the Clerk should suggest the whole event take place at the church, thus respecting their request to limit numbers. That conversation happened and was agreed with the church and, as they say, the rest is history.

So, the more limited arrangements for Feast Sunday 2021 are driven by rising COVID infection rates and the desire of church leaders to keep our community safe – nothing more, nothing less.

As for FEAST Monday, those arrangements are nothing to do with the Town Council so what does and does not happen on that day will be down to those that usually arrange things and their judgements re safety in light of COVID and possibly other matters. Whilst some Town Councillors, past and present have and may get involved with FEAST Monday that is as local residents not as Town Councillors.

Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day in the St Just Parish was for many years organised and led by the British Legion in St Just. Since that closed, the people at the Methodist Chapel have taken the lead and regarding wreaths and poppies with parades and services being a collaboration between Town Council and Church but again, Town Council does not have a lead role. Over the years, since becoming a Town Councillor in 2007, most years I have attended Pendeen on remembrance Sunday and, since about 2014/2015 I have started joining the more informal gathering at the St Just memorial on 11 November at 11 a.m. This year will be the same – I’ll join those at the Pendeen War Memorial on Sunday 14th then parade to Pendeen Church for the Service of remembrance. I will lay a wreath at the memorial. Daisy Gibbs, Deputy Mayor will attend St Just Church service and then lay a wreath at the St Just Memorial. I will join those at the more informal gathering on 11 November at 11 a.m at St Just. So, business as usual, subject to COVID restriction in place at that time.

Yes, the virus is still circulating in our community. Our health service is overwhelmed by the usual winter pressures, so with COVID admissions and treatments being the straw that is breaking the system.

So, as Mayor, I want to reassure folk there is no deliberate plan to disrespect community traditions and the Town Council does not lead on many of those community events. However, there is a whole new group of Town Councillors and a relatively new clerk (well he took up post not that long before the pandemic struck) so, there maybe little details overlooked or even mistakes made over the next 12 months but our overall driver is to keep our community as safe as we can through leadership and positive examples; if that is not what folk want, then as vacancies arise (many new councillors have found the role more time consuming than they imagined), step forward and help us hear all community voices.