“The fact is War Work occupies all the available time”: Wargrave responds to the National Mission

The National Mission in Wargrave was announced in October 1916 as starting on 19 November:

The National Mission

The Sunday fixed for the Mission Services in Wargrave is November 19th, when the Ven. The Archdeacon of Berkshire will be in charge.

It was a great success, the parish magazine later reported; but would it have long lasting effects?

The National Mission

We have indeed much cause to be thankful. It was a great disappointment when we heard that that Archdeacon Ducat could not come; but that the Rev. George Perry-Gore was able to take his place and on the same day may indeed be taken as a sign of the good hand of our God upon us.

All who attended the Mission desire to unite in tendering their most grateful thanks to our Missioner. We must take counsel before God, each with himself, as to how we can give effect to the message by new resolution to walk with God.

The attendance at the meetings of preparation and at the services of the Mission were good. The weather during the Mission was so very bad that it required a real effort to face it, and many in weak health or at a distance were altogether unable to do so. Those who did come were rewarded.

We must be thankful that the weather was fine for the four Open-Air Services. They were well supported and afforded a simple but impressive witness.

The Men’s Bible Study Circle conducted by Dr. McCrea is full of promise. The method adopted evokes extraordinary interest from those who take part. It will continue on Thursdays at 7:30 in the Parish Room.

It has been found impossible to start a Woman’s Bible Study Circle at the present time although a very capable leader was ready to undertake it. The fact is War Work occupies all the available time among those who would otherwise be glad to join.

Every Mission has three parts. The Preparation; The Message; The response.

We did our best with the Preparation.

The need and intention of the Mission were fully explained, the invitation to hear the Message was conveyed to every house and the exact particulars of time and place were carefully published.
But the real preparation went deeper than this. There was prayer in Church and in our homes. We prayed about the National Mission, asking God’s blessing upon it, that the effort of the Church might make for the advancement of His Kingdom. And we prayed for the Messengers, that God might give them utterance, and fill them with the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We have now had the Message. We have been reminded of our need of Repentance and of our Christian heritage of Hope. We have been told the old old story of God’s Love, of our redemption in Jesus Christ and of our strength for victory in the grace of the Holy Spirit. We have thought about our Christian duties. We have taken counsel about prayer. We have realised that our country needs the best from each of us, and that we are not giving our best unless we have sought for God’s blessing and God’s grace to inform our character and to sanctify our work.

There remains the Response, which is the third part of the Mission. If this is of the right kind it has begin already and it will go on for the rest of our lives.

What is it to be? It will not be exactly the same in any two of us. But it will be the same for us all in that it will mean drawing us closer to God. And it will be the same for us all in that it will mean that our lives will show a clearer witness for Christ. If we make the right kind of response men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. They will see it in our homes, in our work and in our play.

But it must be remembered that God’s message never leaves us in the same position as we were before we heard it. We have had another summons to awake, another reminder of the standard by which alone our lives are judged, another proclamation of our Lord’s Commands. We must not neglect so great salvation.

May our response be such that it may make us more ready to meet the Master when He comes in His Glory and all the Holy Angels with Him, and shall sit upon the throne of His Glory – to take account.

Wargrave parish magazine, October and December 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

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