We do want to commemorate the gallant dead

St Luke’s War Memorial Meeting, Monday, February 17th

May I summon all parishioners who can come to a meeting at 8 pm on Monday, February 17th, in the National School, East Street? I feel sure as citizens we shall all back up whatever the Mayor and his Committee decides on for the Borough, but as Churchmen in our Parish Church or elsewhere, we do want to commemorate the gallant dead, and show our thankfulness to God for the great Victory he has vouchsafed to our cause. Please attend in good numbers, both of men and women!

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

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We must now let the men whose names have been held in honour realise that we are just as keenly interested in them in peace as we were in war

Churches were asked to welcome home soldiers.

THE CHURCH AND THE ARMY

RETURN OF MEN FROM THE FRONT

The Archbishop of Canterbury earnestly commends to the clergy and laity of his diocese some suggestions adapted from a like paper issued in another diocese.

The Roll of Honour, which has, as I hope and believe, has been placed practically in every church in the diocese, was meant to be an outward and visible sign of the interest of the Church as a whole in each man whose name was found upon it. Prayers, contant prayers, were to be offered for him. This obligation the Church has fulfilled, and numbers of men are returning for whom we have prayed. We must now let the men whose names have been thus held in honour realise that we are just as keenly interested in them in peace as we were in war. We can do this in various ways.

1. A “Welcome Home Committee” should be formed at once in every parish, consisting of the clergy together with a number of communicants, both men and women.
2. The Committee should undertake the work of according a warm welcome to all the men living in the parish on their return from the Front, whether they are Churchmen or not.
3. As far as is possible someone should be appointed in every street (or district) in any large parish to act as “Watcher” on behalf of the committee in that street, who should notify its secretary immediately on the return of any man living within it.
4. On notification of the return home of any man the Committee should appoint someone to visit him at once and extend in the name of the Church a warm welcome home.

The man concerned should be treated as circumstances and common sense may dictate. Different methods would naturally be adopted with regard to communicants and those who are not, but the welcome to each would be equally warm. The incumbent might arrange for a Celebration to which the communicant, his family and any friends could be invited, and at which they could unitedly offer their thanksgiving for his safe return and also rededicate their lived to the service of God, the Church and the Country. Regarding the non-communicants, special attention should be paid to the men who signed the War Roll Pledge issued at the front, and whose names have been sent already to the incumbents. This privilege might appropriately be placed in the hands of the local branch of the CEMS, if its membership is sufficient to deal with the situation. The problem will be treated differently in a small country parish and in a town parish; but in both alike:

1. No man should return without the Church making some effort to give him a welcome.
2. The whole body of communicants should be encouraged to take an interest in the men for whom they have prayed for four years.
3. The scheme should be put into operation at once.
4. Special Services for the returned men might appropriately be held at suitable intervals.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P89/28A/14)

Now that the war is over we have been able to have our usual Christmas treats

Reading children enjoyed a peacetime Christmas season.

The Vicar’s Notes

Now that the war is over we have been able to have our usual Christmas treats, and to enter into them with more zest than ever. The infants and the boys and girls of our Sunday school, the choir lads, the mothers, and the Sunday school teachers and altar servers have been hospitably entertained through the generosity of many of our kind people.

Intercessions

For God’s blessing on the Peace Conference now being held in Paris.


Reading St Mary parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P98/28A/16)

Our hearts are all lighter because the War is, we hope, finally closed by this Armistice

Great challenges faced the country after the war.

Dear Friends and Parishioners

The past month has been one of much Parish festivity. Our hearts are all lighter because the War is, we hope, finally closed by this Armistice. Still there are great difficulties to face, and we must pray for courage and wisdom to tackle them in the right spirit and with the right methods. Our interest and our prayers should be enlisted for the Statesmen assembled in Conference in Paris that they may be granted wisdom to re-order and re-establish the Countries of Europe on just and wise lines.

And in the case of our social problems at home, we all need to pray (for practically all of us now have some voice and some responsibility) for the wisdom, industry, and patience needed to realise our present hopes and ideals. We all want to maintain the increased sobriety of the Nation, we all want better homes for the poorer members of our community, we all want to retain a decent wage for all sections of our workers, whether with brain or hand; we all, as Church people, are keen on improving our Educational system, and developing the religious and moral side of it on all Schools; we are all resolved to maintain the sanctity of Christian marriage, and to promote that purity of life which alone will provide an A 1 population (to use the Prime Minister’s phrase), for the working of the great Empire which we hold in trust for God and man.

All this is easy to discuss, but to bring about is a work of almost overwhelming difficulty. Nothing but the Grace of God is sufficient for its accomplishment. Let us remember our hopes and ideals in our prayers, and then do our best in a spirit of comradeship that thinks first of the Church and Nation as a whole, and only secondly of party or class.

The next few weeks are a general time in Church life; we can use them for the study of great questions affecting Church and Nation before the special period of Lenten discipline begins.

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

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

“The national health is at a low ebb, on account of war rations, & the influenza epidemic”

Four years of war shortages and the flu had combined to make a feeble nation.

30 January 1919

Notice sent out with regard to regulations for fasting in Lent, which are to be modified, as Mother has had it impressed on her by medical authority that the national health is at a low ebb, on account of war rations, & the influenza epidemic.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

At least we may hope that the bloodshed is past, and that the Peace terms may help to right the many wrongs committed

What would a post-war world look like, many wondered.

My dear friends,

We open our New Year with hearts relieved of the heavy anxiety which all of us felt at the dawn of the year past. At least we may hope that the bloodshed is past, and that the Peace terms may help to right the many wrongs committed.

But our victory, so largely brought about by the English speaking nations, lays upon those nations no light responsibility. How wide and how deep that responsibility will be, and into what spheres it will penetrate, is something one can more easily feel than formulate into words. We may take it for granted that things which had grown old are now becoming new, and that those things which were cast down are now being raised up; and that all things are returning to perfection, through Him from whom they took their origin.

Statesmen are of one accord that the world must be built up on new lines. Are they inspired with the truth that perfection cannot lie apart from Jesus Christ? We have seen a pagan efficiency brought down with a run. The years 1914-18 are pages of history which may well make Statebuilders think. Where Christ was banished, there lay already the germ of failure. The worship of power and wealth has brought a proud nation to its knees before a horror-struck and outraged world. Is this nothing to us who wield perhaps the greatest influence since the days of the old Roman Empire?

But it is more about matters at home I am concerned. If a league of nations is possible beyond our Empire, surely it is possible to be at home as a city at unity in itself. Class differences in outlook perhaps there always will be, but class antagonisms are mutually suicidal. If we could learn to respect each other’s outlook, and help that so far as the outlook is just and right, England could be a happier, more united country. God has given us such proof of His confidence that He has given us this victory. Let us begin by being at least just at home.

And it is in the spiritual sphere also that the consequences of victory is to be felt. We see the stirring of conscience in religious bodies that disunion and schism are not the Mind of Christ. These Bodies are not to be brought into unity piecemeal. The resulting bitterness of individual conversion only makes the antagonisms worse. I do not think we as Christians sufficiently realise the loss to Christ through conflicting Christianity; and we should be prepared to make any concession to those separated from us as does not involve a breach with the true Catholic Church of Christ. Just as prejudice is not to be allowed to stand in the way of England’s reconstruction, neither should it stand in the way of the reconstruction of the Church….
One fallacy which has been exploded by the war was that unity by command meant the sacrifice of national independence. We now know that diversity of effort meant playing into the enemy’s hand. The English army had its part to play, as the English Church will always have her part to play; and the English army suffered no loss of prestige or national self-determination because it correlated its effort with the armies of the allied forces under a supreme command. It has been a great lesson, and one which can be so pointedly applied…

The coming year must be full of matters of deep moment. I pray God that we may meet it under His guidance.

We owe a debt of thanks to Mr Self Fowles for the great help he has given as a temporary choirmaster. He has given himself heart and soul to the work, and has been loyally backed up by the choir. His heart is in the Church, and we hope that he may find a sphere as congenial to him as All Souls has been. Mr Clarke will resume his place at the organ at once, and he will receive a hearty welcome back from many old friends.

The cost of Magazines has again risen. We do not propose to raise the price, but we hope that those who can afford it will raise the sum they usually pay for the year. As the Magazine has been in existence for 23 years the vicar has determined to continue it; but it was after some hesitation.

Your affectionate priest and friend,

Barrington B. Murray

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

Our prisoners of war are slowly returning

PoWs were starting to come home.

Notes from the Vicar

I wish you all every happiness and blessing for 1919. May we be found worthy of the peace that it will bring, and worthy of the great sacrifices made for us by our brave men.

Our prisoners of war are slowly returning. Before very long now we may hope to welcome back the Rev. H.A. Smith-Masters, C.F., and the others from the parish.


Intercessions List

Sick and wounded: Lieut. Thomas Rudd; Private William Lay.

Departed: Private Robert Aldridge, R.A.M.C. ; Lieut. Henry Eyres, R.A.F.; Maria Goodship; Elizabeth Gillmor.

Reading St Giles parish magazines, January 1919 (D/P96/28A/36)

There is an ugly temper brewing in some quarters, and if things show no signs of mending, there will be trouble

Peacetime offered new challenges for the country, especially with a newly democratic parliament.

THE NEW YEAR.

The old wish, “A Happy New Year,” seems out of place just now. There is too much strenuous work to be done, there are too many calls upon our best manhood and womanhood for any of us to be looking round for mere happiness. Happiness is for future years, when the social fabric of the nations has been put together again, and there is rest. In the new year we are expecting great things from the Parliament, which is charged with a duty weighty and solemn beyond all precedent. Too much in the past our statesmen have forgotten God and His righteousness in the fashioning of laws. If we want a strong nation, we must get it established upon the foundations of eternal justice and love. We have got to make our nation really Christian, for only in that way can it endure. The most cleverly constructed constitution in the world will rot and go to pieces if it be not in harmony with the teaching of the Gospels. On Christ, the solid rock, it must stand, all other ground is sinking sand. What an opportunity the country has to-day! Now is our chance to uplift the nation and the world into Christian ideals! Let us batter the gates of heaven with storms of prayer for it.

We are all hoping, too, for a higher level of social life in our country, that life may be made more tolerable for all classes. We must do something towards getting money dethroned, towards rooting out that vulgar error that wealth means money. True wealth is life and happiness and peace, work to do and love to bestow. Wealth means quality of life. It is to have capacity for noble joy and noble sorrow, it is to have a passion for love and beauty and truth. The vulgar craving for money, the race for wealth, has brought about the thrusting down of the poor and the workers, and conditions in our towns and villages that will not be longer tolerated. There is an ugly temper brewing in some quarters, and if things show no signs of mending, there will be trouble.

The solution of all our problems is in making Christ the actual reigning King of life, national and personal. The Prime Minister spoke recently of a wave of materialism which he said always followed great wars. Was he right in saying “always?” When England had been saved from a great danger by the destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588, was there not a sense of gratitude to God, and a great revival of religion? And was there not a similar revival at the close of the Napoleonic wars? If we Christians will put our hearts into it, with prayer and consecration, we can make much for Christ of this great opportunity. If we will fight unbelief and materialism, if we will wage warfare for the Kingdom of Christ, as our men fought on the banks of the Yser, and in the Valley of the Somme, our national life will be purer, and Christ will find place in many hearts.

So let us not wish each other this time “A Happy New Year,” but a guided and a useful and a blessed New Year.

T.F. LEWIS.

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

“A rebuilt organ, although it would be a good thankoffering for peace, would not be suitable as a memorial”

How best to recognise the service of the country’s fallen, and those returning alive?

St John’s Parochial Church Council

The fourth meeting of the Parochial Church Council was held at the Princes Street Room on Monday, January 20th, 1919, at 8.15 p.m….

Mr W. H. Pountney moved the following resolution: That the question of providing a new organ for St John’s Church be re-opened by this Council; and a scheme devised forthwith to secure the end in view in memory of those who have fallen in the great war, as a thanksgiving for the blessing of peace, and as a matter of expediency.

This was seconded pro forma by Mr Aldridge.

… This was seconded by Mr Sutton, supported by Miss Sutton, Mr Fanstone, Mr Churchill and Dr Murrell, and Mr F. Winter, several of the speakers saying that whatever was done as a War memorial should be something in connection with both churches, and not for St John’s only. The vicar said he thought the form of memorial should be in accordance with the views of the relations of those who had given their lives, and that a rebuilt organ, although it would be a good thankoffering for peace, would not be suitable as a memorial…

Mr Haslam then moved the following resolution: That a committee be formed to consider the best form for a Memorial to those parishioners or members of the congregations who have given their lives for their God, King and Country in the great war, and to report to this Council.

Mr L. G. Sutton seconded this resolution and it was carried unanimously.

The following committee was elected to carry it into effect: the vicar, the churchwardens, Mr L G Sutton, Mr H A Kingham, Mr F H Wright, Mr Fanstone, Mr Murrell, Miss Britton and Miss Winter.

Mr E C Pearce moved the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr H R Sutton, and carried unanimously:

That a committee be formed to consider and report to the vicar how best to welcome the men and women returning from War Service to the parish, and to take steps to attach them if possible to the parish life.

The following committee was elected to carry this into effect: the vicar, Mr E C Pearce, Mr H R Sutton, Mr W Wing, Mr Fanstone, Miss Simmonds, Miss Rundell, and Cap. Blandy, with power to confer with others.


Reading St. John parish magazine, February 1919 (D/P172/28A/24)

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)

Let us play our part manfully for God in the new conditions we all have to face

Maidenhead continued to celebrate peace and look to the future.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners …

Alas, we have to raise the price of the Magazine to 2d, when bought from a District Visitor, or over the counter at Mr Marsh’s shop. The price for a year, delivered separately, is 2/6 instead of 1/6. We are, I believe, the last Magazine in Berkshire to raise our price, but last year has been run at a loss, and the cost of paper and printing has enormously increased…

Then may I wish you all a very Happy New Year, the safe return of all friends from the Forces, and a final Peace on just lines in the world…

As regards the future, the Band of Hope Tea is to be held on January 7th at Brock Lane Room, St Luke’s Sunday School Treat on January 23rd, and North Town later on. For these treats I will gladly receive (and even request) donations. Let us make our Armistice Tea a success.

Then as regards the further future, I hope to call a Meeting to discuss a War Memorial for the Parish of St Luke, Maidenhead, in February, as, doubtless, the Mayor will call upon all citizens to do something for the Borough at the Town Meeting in January. I think we ought, as Church people, to plan something definite for the Church or its work. Let us put our heads together in the meantime…

In the meantime, let us try and back up our existing work, so as to play our part manfully for God in the new conditions we all have to face.

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar

C E M Fry.
Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

The new year opens bright with hope, like a glorious morning after the night of darkness and storm

Churchgoers in Warfield and Winkfield rejoiced.

Warfield

It is suggested by the Archbishops that special thanksgiving for Victory, and special prayer for the statesmen of the world assembled in the Peace Conference, should be offered on the first Sunday in the new year, January 5th. The new year opens bright with hope, like a glorious morning after the night of darkness and storm. Clouds are still in the sky, but they are broken and the sun shines through. May we render thanks and glory to God in the Highest; and pray Him to inspire men with His own Spirit of Good-will, for good-will alone can bring true and lasting peace to homes, to nations and to all mankind.

It is hoped to hold a meeting during January, to consider the raising of a War Memorial in the Parish.

Winkfield

On the first Sunday, (January 5th) in the new year, which we trust will bring us the blessing of a just and lasting Peace, it is indeed fitting that we should join with other parishes all over the land in special Thanksgivings for Victory and deliverance from our enemies, and also pray specially for our Rulers and the Statesmen of the world, that the coming Peace Conference they may be enabled to lay the foundation of the effective establishment of a League of Nations which will prevent the horrors of war in the future.

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

The American Battle Hymn will be sung both morning and evening

The fighting was over, but peace was not completely secured, with negotiations ongoing.

Sunday, Jan. 5th will be observed as a day of special thanksgiving for victory, and a prayer for the statesmen of the world assembled at the Peace Conference. There will be celebrations of the Holy Communion at 7 and 8, and the American Battle Hymn will be sung both morning and evening. The collections will be given to the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John Jerusalem, which urgently need help. It will be remembered, of course, that the great services of thanksgiving for peace will follow when the peace is signed.

Speenhamland parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P116B/28A/2)

It is hoped that the attendances at the Intercession Services will be as large and the progress as real as during the last four anxious years

The war might be over, but there was still plenty to pray for.

JANUARY 5TH, 1919

For four years the first Sunday in the year has been observed as a Day of Intercession for our cause in the Great War. This year the Archbishops have requested the Church to observe the day as one of Prayer for the Nation and our Allies, and to devote the offertories at all services to the Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem. It is hoped that the attendances at the Intercession Services will be as large and the progress as real as during the last four anxious years.

11.0 a.m St Mary’s Church, Morning Service.
11.45 a.m. St Mary’s Church, Holy Communion.
3.30 p.m. St Michael’s Church, Evening Service.
6.0 p.m. Rector’s Room, Evening Service.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, January 1919 (D/EX725/4)

A Peace which we have every reason to believe will shape the destiny of the world for many generations to come

Clewer Church looked forward with optimism.

Our first duty and privilege is to wish all our Readers a Happy New Year – and we do so with more confidence in the future than we have felt for some years past. This year will be known as ‘The Peace Year’, for in it is to be laid the foundation of a Peace which we have every reason to believe will, with the Blessing of God, shape the destiny of the world for many generations to come. How earnestly we ought to pray for the guidance of those who are now taking part in the Peace conference at Paris, that by their endeavours, ‘Peace and Happiness, Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety,’ may be established amongst the Nations of the World for all generations – The great Victory which Almighty God vouchsafed to us in 1918, has opened out to us such glorious prospects of better things to come, if only we prove ourselves worthy of them, that we realize that the present year is the most critical period in the history of mankind.

On the first Sunday in the New Year Special Prayer and Thanksgiving will be offered in all Churches that we may dedicate ourselves to afresh to Him who alone is “the Giver of Victory and the Author of Peace.”

Our alms on Sunday, Jan. 5th, will be for the Red Cross Society as in the years during the War.

Clewer parish magazine, January 1919 (D/P39/28A/9)