Cold wet evenings spur us to greater sacrifices

The vicar of Earley urged his flock not to forget the spiritual dimensions of the war.

My Dear People

There are two subjects in my mind upon which I should like to say a word this month. The first is the confirmation which the Bishop proposes to hold here on Nov 26th. In a time of war we can ill afford to dispense with or neglect the spiritual forces which the Almighty places at our disposal. The war in France too sadly reminds us there is always war, warfare between good and evil, right and wrong, the powers of Heaven and the powers of darkness. “There was,” and there is, “War in heaven” i.e. in those spiritual realms which we designate Heaven. “Michael and his angels making war with the dragon.” In this war we all have part. Let us not forget it. Rather let us stir up our young people and encourage them arm themselves and prepare for the contest. And to all, old and young, who are not confirmed, I would say – Here is a great opportunity: “Let us put on the whole armour of God” and use every means we have and know. Let us receive the Laying-on of hands, the consecration and confirmation of the Almighty.

Secondly, I trust you will not grow weary of our weekly Intercession service on Wednesdays. Here we are all of us “At the front”. It is all we can do; but let us see that we do it. There are no signs at present that we are tired out, but such is human frailty that we shall need in the months that are coming, all our resolution and determination to keep our place in the fighting line of unceasing prayer. This is no time of slackening our effort in any direction where duty points the way. Cold and wet evenings must spur us to greater sacrifices of comfort, remembering there are cold wet evenings (too many, alas!) in the battlefields of France.

These thoughts I commend to you, and remain

Your affectionate friend

E J Norris

Earley parish magazine, October 1914 (D/P192/28A/13)

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