A wartime twist to a parish’s Christmas collections

Stratfield Mortimer decided to change the objects of its usual Christmas collections for charity in church to the causes of Belgian refugees and a fund for the entertainment of soldiers:

Collections on December 13th and 25th

Offerings have always been given on the 2nd Sunday in December to provide a Christmas gift of coal to widows who live in the parish. For this year that same gift will be made, but it will be paid for out of the Sick and Needy Fund. And the churchwardens and sidesmen of both churches have agreed to give the collections on December 13th to the relief of Belgian refugees. The offertory on Christmas Day has also been voted to another of the emergency funds due to the War; namely, to the Young Men’s Christian Association, for its special fund for providing recreation, Reading and Writing Tents or Rooms for the large numbers of recruits in various camps where no other provision exists for sociable purposes during the long dark evenings. Both of these admirable objects will speak for themselves to the hearts of our people.

Stratfield Mortimer patrish magazine, Decmeber 1914 (D/P120/28A/14)

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