CHURCHES across the York diocese are planning services, vigils and and exhibitions to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War next Monday.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said the centenary of the outbreak of war provided an opportunity to reflect on the folly of war and the horrific human suffering it unleashed.

"Sadly our prayers will not just be those of distant remembrance – violent conflict is a brutal reality today," he said.

"We remember all before God, we pray for justice and peace, and we give thanks for the bravery and sacrifice of many. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."

St Michael le Belfrey, near the Minster, will be holding a candlelit vigil from 8pm on Monday, led by the Visions Community with creative stories, music, visuals.

It will be joining other vigils being held across the UK, with the last candle to be extinguished at 11pm in Westminster Abbey in remembrance of the words of then Foreign Secretary Viscount Edward Grey, who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our time."

At St Wilfrid's Catholic Church in Duncombe Place, a Requiem Mass will be offered at 6pm on Monday for all who died in that war and in subsequent conflicts. 

There will be a military presence with buglers at the Mass, which will be in Latin and in the Extraordinary Form.  Fr Richard Duffield will preach. 

St Martin’s in Coney Street is holding a commemorative service from 10pm to 11pm on Monday, with a vigil of prayers, readings, diary extracts, poetry and music, in conjunction with a national service at Westminster Abbey.

In Haxby, there will be a service at 10am on Saturday to mark the centenary with a rededication of Haxby Memorial Hall. The service will begin with a parade from the Village Green to the hall, where a plaque will be unveiled to remember all those who served their country from Haxby and Wigginton during the war.

St Mary’s, South Milford, will hold a service at 7.30pm on Monday, with music from the early part of the 20th century, readings and reflections.

St Giles, Copmanthorpe, will be open for prayer and remembrance on Monday from 11am to 4pm and from 6pm to 7pm.

St. James, Bilbrough, is holding a vigil service at 6pm on Saturday.