Manor Road URC – Church News – Sunday 9th November 2014.

Hello Everyone.

I hope you all had a lovely week.

Here is the latest church news from Manor Road United Reformed Church.

Our Remembrance Day Service this morning was led by Orin Stephens.

Thanks to everyone who attended service this morning, on this very special day in the church’s calendar.

As this year marks the centenary of the first world war, I read a poem by an English Poet Tommy Crawford called ‘The Stretcher Bearer’.

Tommy Crawford was a Famous English Poet during the first world war and he wrote ‘The Stretcher Bearer’ in the year of 1916.

The Stretcher Bearer was a person who would carry a soldier (or rather, as was very much the case of this first world war, a dead soldier) off the battlefield, on a stretcher – to another designated area of safety nearby. Tommy Crawford volunteered to be a sketcher bearer in the first world war, so this poem is a true reflection of what Tommy Crawford experienced in this role.

The Sketcher Bearer  (1916)

Tommy Crawford.

My stretcher is one scarlet stain,

And as I tries to scrape it clean,

I tell you what – I’m sick of pain,

For all I’ve heard, for all I’ve seen;

Around me is the hellish night

And as the war’s red rim I trace,

I wonder if in Heaven’s height

Our God don’t turn away his face.

I don’t care whose the crime may be,

I hold no brief for kin or clan;

I feel no hate, I only see

As man destroys his brother man;

I wave no flag, I only know

As here beside the dead I wait,

A million hearts are weighed with woe,

A million homes are desolate.

In dripping darkness far and near,

All night I’ve sought those woeful ones.

Dawn suddens up and still I hear

The crimson chorus of the guns.

Look, like a ball of blood the sun

Hangs o’er the scene of wrath and wrong,

‘Quick! Stretcher-bearers on the run!’,

Oh Prince of Peace! How long, how long?’

Poem © reproduced by kind permission of the: The First World War Poetry Digital Archive.

We of course (like every church around the country) observed the 2 minutes silence at 11.00am, that gives acknowledgement to everyone who died in these two world wars. Before this silence, we had to do a bit of a change-around of the church order sheet,as we found that we had about 5 minutes to spare before the 11.00am silence. It really was a lovely and moving service this morning.

On Tuesday 18th November there will be an elders meeting in the church hall at 11.00 am.




Celebrate Inter Faith Week this year by spending 2-3 hours with Jewish and Muslim co-volunteers providing Sunday lunch for local people who are sleeping rough.

Sunday 16th November

Rumi’s Kitchen @ Cricklewood Mosque at 26a Chichele Rd  NW2

10-12.30       Setting Up      

12.30 – 3.30     Serving and chatting with the guests

3.30 – 5       Clearing up (volunteers specially needed for this important task)


Rumi’s Kitchen is a regular project of a local Muslim-initiated Inter Faith Projects – see


The event on 16th November is organised by our nearest Synagogue, Brondesbury Synagogue, for Mitzvah Day 2014. Mitzvah Day is the Jewish led global annual day of social action where thousands of people of all faith donate time and energy to vital causes that make a tangible difference to those in need.  


Contact Maggie Hindley,, who will arrange for a group to attend together.




Next Week’s Sunday Morning Service will be led by Adrian West , (Ex-Lay Preacher )of Harecourt United Reformed Church. This will be a Communion Service.

Service begins at 10.30 am.

Do join us for that service.

You are all very welcome.

Have A Lovely Week Everyone.

Do wrap up warm…it’s getting just a little bit more chilly out there.

Roger Howard.






  • Brian Crawford says:


    I came across your article regarding ‘The Stretcher Bearer’. I just thought I would like to correct you on what was written. Tommy Crawford was not a know poet in WWI. He wrote poetry after he got discharged from the Army having been injured on the Somme (his right hand finger was shot off so he could no longer hold a rifle). He was not a stretcher bearer – he served in the 15th DLI (Durham Light Infantry Regiment) and was in the 2nd wave that ‘went over the top’ in 1916 on the Somme. I know all this because I can say very proudly that Tommy Crawford was my father. Brian Crawford

    • rogerhoward555 says:

      I apologise Sir for this wrong information published.
      Being the World Wide Web, there seems to be a lot of untruth information that is written with published articles.
      It is a situation like this, that has happened with wrong information published about your father.
      Again I apologise and hope this has not caused any inconvenience for you or your family.

      Good Day to you.
      Roger Howard.