“The collapse of our semi-Christianised civilisations under the shock of the war”

Newbury people had the opportunity to listen to two thoughtful and challenging lectures as part of the National Mission. One came from Canon Henry Scott-Holland, best known for his funereal meditation, ‘Death is nothing at all’.

An assembly of over 700 people in the Corn Exchange on Sunday afternoon, June 25th, at 3.30, listened with earnest attention to an address by Canon Scott-Holland on the subject of “The Church and Social Problems”, in connection with the National Mission; and our gratitude is due to the Vicar of St John’s for inviting him to Newbury. The speaker drew a powerful picture of the collapse of our semi-Christianised civilisations under the shock of the war; he spoke of several of the most pressing National Social Problems, and he showed how the Bishops were endeavouring to lead the Church towards understanding and sympathising with the aims of the working-classes; while there was much to urge as to repentance, there were, he said, already real grounds for hope for a new and better England.

We had a visit – unfortunately, but poorly attended – from the Rev. A H Kennedy on June 30th, in connection with the National Mission. He suggested that the names should rather be “The National Call”. He spoke of the great changes likely to result in the Nation in consequence of the war, and asked whether the Church would be ready to play her part in the new life. There were two possibilities before her: 1, to seek a revival of her own life; 2, to become a little houseboat in a backwater. He spoke of the growth of the religious spirit and of the moral sense, and of the spirit of fellowship among the men at the Front, and they on their return ought to find these things in evidence in the Church.

Newbury parish magazine, August 1916 (D/P89/28A/13)

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