We may elect to have a memorial of thanks giving and peace and deliverance from our enemies

An Earley church had various suggestions as to how it should remember the war.

Vicar’s letter

My dear people

The time has come when we may begin to consider whether we will shall have some parish memorial of the great war, and if so, what form it would take. Two courses are open to us. We may elect to have a memorial of thanks giving and peace and deliverance from our enemies; or we may prefer a memorial to the holy dead who have laid down their lives for their country. The latter would almost necessarily take effect within the walls of the church; the former would not be so restricted. It is possible to combine the two ideas.

Some suggestions as to the form which a memorial might take have already been made. They are set down here that their merits may be weighed and considered before a meeting is summoned to deal with the whole matter. The first proposal is to enlarge the parish hall “to pull down the west wall, and in its place support the roof on light iron pillars, between which there are should be shutters that would roll up so as to make the room large or small as required”. The writer adds “If a tablet is to be placed in the church with the names of those from the parish who have fallen in the war, perhaps some inscription could be added to the effect that the hall had been enlarged.”

A second suggestion is to panel the walls of the Lady Chapel with oak, with a list of those fallen in the war inscribed on the panels.

The advantage of the latter scheme over the former would be in the matter of expense. A comparatively small amount would suffice, and any surplus could well be spent with advantage on furniture for the chapel.

A third suggestion is the painting and decoration of the roof of the aisles and nave. This, again, need not be very costly, and if carried out in harmony with the chancel roof would add very much to the beauty of the interior of the church, besides greatly increasing its lighting powers.

A fourth suggestion is the erection of a north porch, which, if of sufficient size would be of great convenience and would form the principle entrance, setting free the west end of the nave for sitting accommodation as it ought to be.

It is proposed that in the first instance, these and other suggestions should go before the Church Council, and that subsequently, they should call a general meeting.

You will allow me to conclude with my heartfelt wish for a happier New Year to you all than was possible when I last wrote my New Year’s greetings. Upon our parish as on all parishes the war has left its mark of sorrow. The remembrance of it will stimulate us to a truer devotion and more unselfish life of service.

I am affectionately yours

E J Norris

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P192/28A/15)

Previous Post
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: