“We have seen the women’s movement culminate in the claim for priesthood”

It would be a long time before the Church of England agreed to admit women to the priesthood, but here we see the changes of WWI first brought the movement to life.

My dear friends.

One of the immediate Ecclesiastical outcomes of the war is a demand on the part of the chaplains for reunion on practically any terms. That reunion is the crying need of Christendom is apparent to most people, but it must be only on a sure and lasting basis. It is understood that proposals will be laid before the Bishops in Convocation asking them to consent (1) to the interchange of pulpits with non-conformist preachers (2) to admit women to a larger share of teaching work within consecrated buildings. The first of these proposals would be to disguise the evil of division without removing it…

On the question of women preachers the Church Universal must speak before any part of the Church dare introduce new practices. We have seen the women’s movement culminate in the claim for priesthood. This shocks most people and should warn our Bishops how carefully they should walk. I earnestly hope that our communicants will not be apathetic about writing their protest.

South Ascot Parochial magazine, July 1919 (D/P186/28A/19)

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As if anyone would ever wish to do such a thing as remove the war memorial!

An offer was made to pay for a war memorial in Stratfield Mortimer.

Another War Memorial

Colonel and Mrs. Nash have offered to present to the parish church a large brass tablet on which will be permanently recorded the names of all parishioners who have given their lives for their country during the war – a most welcome gift. This cannot be erected, however, without a “faculty” – a form of legal sanction, the chief value of which is that it prevents anybody from ever removing the memorial, (as if anyone would ever wish to do such a thing!) and a faculty cannot be obtained without the passing of a resolution in its favour by a vestry meeting. A vestry meeting for this purpose will therefore be held on Tuesday, July 8th, at 6-30 p.m., at the parish church vestry.

Stratfield Mortimer parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P120/28A/14)

Hearts uplifted in gratitude to God for His great mercy in bringing us through all the perils of the War

Rector’s Letter

My dear people,

In accordance with official command we held our Thanksgiving Services for the Signing of Peace on Sunday, July 6; our hearts were indeed uplifted in gratitude to God for His great mercy in bringing us through all the perils of the War, and we supplicated Him to give us the grace of humility that so we might be enabled to face the difficulties of the years that lie immediately ahead with the hope that depends upon Him and the courage that faithfully expects the guidance of the Holy Spirit…

George H Williams

Remenham parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P99/28A/5)

A chastened gratitude because of the ever-present thought of the price paid for Peace

Ascot and Warfield were thankful for the peace treaty.

Ascot
The services on July 6th, the day of Thanksgiving for the signing of the Peace Treaty, were well-attended. Ours was a chastened gratitude because of the ever-present thought of the price paid for Peace; but it was sincere.

Warfield
Sunday, July 6th, the Day appointed for Thanksgiving to Almighty God on the occasion of the Signing of the Treaty of Peace, was well observed in the Parish.

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1919 (D/P 151/28A/11/8)

The church was filled with thankful people on Peace Sunday

Peace Sunday

The services on Sunday, June 29th, were given a special character of Thanksgiving for the Signing of Peace. There were processions and a solemn Te Deum, with special psalms and lessons. But Sunday July 6th, was fixed by authority as Peace Sunday. The church was filled with thankful people, a solemn Te Deum was sung at both Mattins and Evensong, and the special forms of service were used throughout the day.

Wargrave parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

A splendid and lasting tribute of our gratitude to God for the valour of our men

The vicar of Maidenhead St Luke, holidaying with a brother home from the front, liked the parish’s war memorial plans.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

I write this letter far away in the stormy Hebrides; where lochs abound, great winds blow, and sea birds and seals are as common as rabbits ought to be on Maidenhead Thicket.

I feel that the few days I have been away – much of it spent in travelling – must have thrown a great strain on my colleagues at a very busy time. I suppose I must plead that the Armistice, the hope of an early Peace, and my brother’s return, must be my excuse…

As regards the future, I am hoping that on June 30th, the Parochial Church Council and the War Memorial Committee may approve of the beautiful plans Mr Cheadle has drawn out for us. I believe the Borough memorial Committee close their appeal on June 30th. We shall then have a clear field, and shall not in any way spoil anyone else’s scheme. The Memorial Chapel will be (if adopted) a splendid and lasting tribute of our gratitude to God for the valour of our men. In it we can pray for all we love here or in the next world. We can draw near to the Fallen in our thoughts. We can meditate on the One Great Sacrifice and think of our own kith and kin who followed that example in no unworthy way. But if we do undertake this work we ought to carry it out as nobly as lies in our power.

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar, C E M Fry.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Raise the money in twelve months

Parochial Church Council

The First meeting of the St Luke’s Parochial Church Council was held on Wednesday, July 2nd, at 8 pm, in the Parish Room at the Vicarage. A good muster of members were present. The only business before the meeting was the consideration of the plans for the proposed War Memorial Chapel. After an exhaustive discussion, partly in the Vicarage and partly in the Church, it was decided to recommend definitely the smaller scheme, which will cost about £2,150, but to hope that money enough will be found for the complete scheme, which would cost about £3,000. An account has been opened in the London, County, etc Bank, in High Street, called “The St Luke’s War Memorial Fund”. Several subscriptions have already been paid into it. It is proposed that the Parish, excepting Furze Platt, shall be divided into sections of twenty-five houses, and that a large number of collectors shall be obtained, so that everyone may have an opportunity of contributing something to the scheme. The idea is to try and raise the money in twelve months, very largely, it is hoped, by monthly subscriptions. A big meeting will be called very shortly to launch the scheme.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, August 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Sermon for Peace

29 June 1919

Special service & sermon for Peace. Quite nice.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

“It is, indeed, a great inspiration and joy to have a big proportion of our soldier and sailor “boys” home for good”

Men were flocking back to their old lives.

DEMOBILISATION

This long word, which stands for so much to so many, is standing for a great deal in our church these days. It is, indeed, a great inspiration and joy to have a big proportion of our soldier and sailor “boys” home for good, and to see that their enthusiasm for their old church and [Sunday] school is undiminished. Their presence is giving a splendid fillip to some branches of our church work, notably the Young People’s Union. The strength of the men’s section of that youthful branch is now so strong that the other sections of that Union were recently entertained entirely by the men-folk, even to the preparation of a “supper”.

Tilehurst section of Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, June1919 (D/N11/12/1/14)

“They will have the consciousness that they have had a part in a most magnificent and wonderful piece of service”

Life back home was difficult for some.

OUR SOLDIERS.

The majority of our soldiers have now been demobilized , a few only remaining in the Service, in Germany and elsewhere. It is a great joy to see the men home again. Some of them do not find it very easy to discover exactly the post in civil life which will give them the start they want, but we hope that in a very short time they will all be in a right place, and be full steam ahead for a prosperous and useful life. They will have the consciousness that they have had a part in a most magnificent and wonderful piece of service, for which may God forgive us if we ever cease to be grateful.

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, June 1919 (D/N33/12/1/5)

Lovely procession

The Bisham war memorial was dedicated.

18 June 1919

Memorial service in church, then processed through village to Cross for dedication. Bishop [of] Buckingham came. Most lovely.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/9)

“It was decided to place a Memorial on the wall”

There was progress towards a Newbury war memorial.

The War Memorial Committee came to the Church on June 18th at 2.30, to meet Mr C O Skilbeck, who came down from London to advise them, on behalf of the Oxford Diocesan Advisory Committee. It was decided to place a Memorial on the wall just near the Lady Chapel, and Mr Skilbeck gave the Committee the name of an architect who would draw up a design. As soon as this is settled upon, an appeal for funds will be made. To provide this Memorial, and to put the Westminster Chimes upon the Bells, may involve an expenditure of £200 or £250.

Newbury parish magazine, July 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

A thank-offering for all the mercies God has shown us during the years of war

St Peter’s Church Committee

A Processional Cross has been presented to St Peter’s as a thank-offering for all the mercies God has shown us during the years of war.

The final list of subscribers to the Cross Fund, which is now closed:

The Vicar, Mr F Rogers, Canon Meara, Mrs East, Mr and Mrs Snow, Mrs Parkinson, Mrs Plaistowe, Mrs Arundell, Mrs Arnold, Mrs and Miss Wright, Mrs Warwick, Mrs Crowhurst, Miss Sperling, Mr and Mrs G Parkinson, Miss Leaver, Major and Mrs Boulton, Mrs and Miss Lilly, Mrs W Fuller, Mrs Newell, Miss Lenns, Mr and Mrs Warren, Mrs Adams, Mrs C West, Messrs G Woodwards, D Blay, Don. Blay, F Lovegrove, R Lovegrove, F Matthews, F Street, H Hill, F Davis, C Snow, R Potter, R Knibbs, F Potter, G Burfoot and B Perkins.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Released after over four years’ service in the Army

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners

As regards coming events, … above all the Welcome to Returned Sailors and Soldiers, and their wives (both in the same place), organised by the CEMS, will, I hope, be favoured by good weather and large musters…

Lastly, I hope to be away for two or three weeks in June. I should have gone later, but my brother, who is released after over four years’ service in the Army, specially wants me to go with him to Scotland. This makes, I feel, a special occasion where family claims must be considered.

If I have to miss important meetings, this is my excuse.

In any case, with Mr King Gill and Mr Thurland in charge, I know that everything will go on splendidly…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Gratitude for being saved from overwhelming peril

Earley churchgoers gave generously towards the war memorial.

The Vicar has received two munificent gifts of £100 and £50 towards the expense of the porch of remembrance of those who from this parish went out and laid down their lives in the war. The gifts in both cases are anonymous, and one of the donors expressed a hope that the parishioners would give liberally and be thankful for the opportunity of shewing their gratitude for being saved from overwhelming peril. With such a lead it is not too much to expect an outpouring of offerings from all whose hearts are touched with thankfulness, and that the work may immediately be put in hand.

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