“The horizon of men’s thoughts has been suddenly and immensely expanded”

The vicar of Earley St Peter faced the enormity of the challenge of the National Mission.

THE NATIONAL MISSION OF REPENTANCE AND HOPE

It is doubtful whether the Church of England has ever been called to a task so great as that to which we are now summoned by the Archbishops. There have been great movements within the Church; but this is a movement of the whole Church, a call to discharge that mission to the nation, as a nation, with which it is entrusted. The times require such an effort; the horizon of men’s thoughts has been suddenly and immensely expanded; we are conscious, as most of us were not two years ago, of our membership in the nation, and of the responsibility of our nation in the world.

Our sons and brothers at the Front are serving their nation and helping it to meet its responsibility, at the risk of their lives; many of them in doing so are finding a new realisation of God. We at home must seek from God the power to rise to new heights so that we may be worthy of their sacrifice and provide for them on their return a home that will sustain their spirit of devotion to duty and service to God.

But to this end we must first take stock of ourselves. Very much has come to light which shows the need for amendment and renewal of life. It is sad to find how little the manhood of the nation, as represented by the men in training camps and the like, is really touched by the church. We have not brought home the message with which we are entrusted as it needs to be brought home. We must seek in prayer and meditation and conference to find the cause of our ineffectiveness where it exists, so that we may repent of it and remove it where it lies in ourselves as individuals or as members of the Church in our neighbourhood.

If we will do that, there is before us a great hope – the hope of an England leavened and guided in regard to its whole life, domestic, social, industrial, political, international, by a Church whose members have sought the will of God in humility and prayer….

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
James Ilott, Albert Barton, William Pocock, Edward Whitworth, Alfred Harris, Albert Higgs, Wilfred Capel, George Bungay, Frank Bedford, Herbert Canning, Donald Hendy, Alfred Harwood, Albert Brown, Charles Webb.

In addition to those already mentioned, we especially commend the following to your prayers:

Sick and Wounded: Maurice Holliday, Alfred Smith, Albert Hiscock, Albert Saunders.
Prisoner of War: Albert Harwood.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, June 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/6)

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