Living under wholly abnormal conditions: the effects of the war will not be clear until it is over

The parish magazine of Clewer St Andrew includes some reflections on the effect of the war on religious life, saying the true effect would not be clear until after the war.

Holy Week and Easter Day

The attendance at the services during Holy Week was about up to the usual standard, and the services were found very helpful to the few who were able to be present. On Good Friday the attendance at the Three Hours Devotion, which was conducted by the Rector, was very encouraging.

On Easter Day, owing to the war and the absence of many of our young men who are serving their country either at the Front or in Training Camps, the number of communicants was rather less than usual, at the three churches amounting to 441. The Easter Offering for the Rector amounted to £13 16s. 8 ¾d.

The war, though it has stimulated no doubt the religious feeling of many of our people, has not had the effect of increasing the attendance at church services. The billeting of soldiers in so many households in the parish has been found no doubt a serious hindrance in the matter of church-going. But we are glad to note that the attendance at our weekly Intercession Service on Wednesday evenings has been steadily growing, and we trust will continue to do so while the war lasts. We are living under wholly abnormal conditions, and the effect of the war on the religious character of the nation cannot be estimated at present. We must wait till the war is over before we can draw any conclusions as to whether its lessons have been learnt or not. In the meanwhile we must pray earnestly that the great sacrifices that we have been called upon to make, may not be in vain; and that, whatever the result of the war may be, we may issue from it a more serious and God-fearing people.

Clewer St Andrew parish magazine, May 1915 (D/P39/28A/9)

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