Helen Bach: Silence applies to phones too

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This year’s Remembrance Sunday service has to be the mildest temperature-wise I can remember.

I’d wrapped up well though, with numerous layers as I’m usually frozen standing at outdoor services.

I have memories of being a Brownie and then a Guide on parade, wearing as many jumpers as would fit underneath my uniform so I probably resembled the Michelin man, as it was always bitterly cold on Remembrance Sunday.

But walking down the road at the back of the parade this year I actually felt warm. I was pleased to see the parish church was packed again.

The Silver Band played the hymns – including I Vow To Thee My Country which is a personal favourite and I sang along with gusto.

Last year there was a lone butterfly which floated above the heads of the congregation while the vicar gave her sermon.

To me this seemed highly symbolic, and represented the fragility of life.

There was no butterfly this year, just the late-autumn sunshine bathing us in its welcoming glow.

The service after at the war memorial was quite rightly sombre; there was the laying of the wreaths, followed by the two minutes’ silence which was only briefly punctuated by a distant ice-cream van playing its tune – further testament to the mildness of the temperature.

Thank goodness no mobile phones went off here – I watched the service from the Cenotaph earlier that morning and I’m sure I heard a phone ringing while the wreaths were being laid.

It’s a shame people can’t unplug themselves from their phones for just a few minutes.

If for some reason they can’t switch it off 
completely, surely they could at least make sure it’s on silent?

It’s one of my pet hates that people don’t switch off their phones during church services.

There’s nothing worse than when during a quiet moment of reflection somebody’s mobile goes off (I’m now picturing Dom Joly yelling ‘I’m in a church!’).

Please remember to silence your phones – nobody wants to hear a ringtone at a funeral, especially something like Disco Inferno at the crematorium!

Read more from Helen here.