A golden gleam of hope

The controversial question of working on Sundays was challenged due to war conditions.

THE VICAR’S LETTER

My dear friends

Holy Week and April begin together, the 1st of April is Palm Sunday and the 8th is Easter Day. Never were the lessons of the season ore needed than in this time of stress and trouble, through which however there runs ever widening the golden gleam of hope…

We have recently had an urgent call to enrol ourselves for National Service, and we hope that all, men and women, will do their best to answer that call.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a notice that, during the present stress, agricultural and horticultural work may, if it is considered necessary, be undertaken on Sundays. This does not mean that the Sunday Services are to be neglected; our own Bishop writes as follows on the subject in the Diocesan magazine:

“If the Minister of Agriculture makes a serious demand for Sunday labour in the next few weeks for the sake of the food supply, I agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury that the Church ought not to object, but to do the utmost to make spiritual provision for the workers in unusual ways outside the hours of work. The Church has generally approved of such Sunday labour as is necessary to prepare and save the crops.”

We believe that most Church people are doing their best to reverence the day, while working part of it, but we fear that, throughout the country, many, who hardly ever enter a place of worship, are making the Archbishop’s utterance an excuse for throwing off the restraint which they have been constrained to show out of respect to general custom…

Your friend and vicar
W W Fowler

Earley St Peter parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

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