“War is dreadful, but Peace is terrible”

An army doctor was a leader in the temperance movement.

An Open-Air Meeting in connection with the St Luke’s Branch of the CETS was held in the Vicarage Garden, on Tuesday evening, June 10th, under the Presidency of the Rev. T H Thurland, the Vicar being away on holiday. The Chief Speaker was Dr Harford, General Secretary of the CETS, who first distributed the certificates, etc, won by the Band of Hope members, the handsome Challenge Banner for the Maidenhead Band of Hope competition having been won by North Town.

Dr Harford, in his address, spoke chiefly to interest the large number of juveniles present. He told them of his service for nearly four years as an eye specialist in France, and related many incidents and told of the scenes of destruction and military activities. He next quoted the remark of M. Clemenceau, French Prime Minister, that “War is dreadful, but Peace is terrible”. This meant that when at war we had got but one thing to do – to see we got it through; but in Peace everybody began to fight everybody else we had first to make a good Peace, not only in Paris, but also at home. He urged the young people to do all they could to fight against the evils caused by drink, one of the greatest curses of our land. The Doctor related an interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury relative to the coming big campaign of the CETS, the “Merrie England” Movement, in which the Society would send cinemas and lecturers around the country to give an impetus to better housing and or enlightened action as to food, health and thrift. The Society was anxious that everybody should have happy homes – not only good, decent houses, but real happy homes. As to cooking, the Doctor had a severe shock when, on asking a little boy if he liked nice puddings, and taking for granted the inevitable “Yes”, the little boy frankly replied “No, sir!” The Doctor’s point was that if the wives would only give their husbands plenty of sweet puddings, the men would not care for so much beer, in which they found the sugary element. In the new homes of Merrie England the children must be taught to play games.

Dr Harford later told some experiences as a missionary for many years in West Africa, where he was nearly eaten by cannibals. An effort was being made to suppress the use of gin out there, this spirit being the buying and selling “coinage” of the country. – (Laughter). As part of the “Merrie England” Movement, every parish was being asked to arrange a little pageant play already published as part of the local Peace celebrations; and he hoped the Maidenhead CETS would carry this out.

Reprinted from The Maidenhead Advertiser.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, July 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)

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)

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 just and lasting peace

Church people prayed for a just peace to be negotiated.

Special Services

The Archbishops, feeling that there is a widespread desire that the year of victory should not pass without some united, reverent and thankful commemoration of those who have laid down their lives in the service of their country, recommend that this commemoration should be made in all churches on Sunday, December 29th. They hope further, that similarly on Sunday, January 5th, along with thanksgivings for the great victory given to our arms, prayer will be offered for the Statesmen of the world assembled at the Peace Conference, that by their efforts a just and lasting peace may be secured, and that the foundation of a new life may be laid on the basis of justice, order and righteousness.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Among the nations of the earth, as well as at home, the old order changes and a new order begins

New voters in Maidenhead were urged to exercise their new rights wisely.

GREAT RESPONSIBILITIES. – BISHOPS’ LETTER TO NEW VOTERS

The following letter has been addressed by the Archbishops to the men and women who have become electors by virtue of the Representation of the People Act. It is signed by the two Archbishops and by all the Diocesan Bishops except those of London and Oxford, who are abroad:

Lambeth Palace, SE, Nov. 19., 1918

We Bishops of the Church of England offer our heartfelt greeting to the men and women of our nation who, in the forthcoming General Election, will exercise the franchise for the first time.

The possession of a vote in the choice of representatives of the people in Parliament is at all times a solemn trust. To you it has been committed at an hour when the nation’s responsibilities and opportunities are so great, so clear, so solemn, that the most unthinking can hardly fail to be impressed.

Here at home the most urgent problems of national welfare await solution. Arrears have to be made up; arrested progress resumed; new ventures attempted. Your help is needed in securing that long long-standing abuses are taken away and much-needed reforms are brought about to improve the health, the housing, the education, the moral standard of the nation. Your help is needed in filling our political life with that spirit of fellowship and service for the common weal which has wrought so mightily in the peoples of the Empire since we went to war. Your help is needed in making England a land to which her sons and daughters may be more and more proud and thankful to belong. We shall rise to the height of the occasion only if the energies of the whole nation are united and controlled by the force of a citizenship instructed and self-disciplined, sustained by a high ideal and devoted to the common good.

Nor can we forget that, now more than ever, our political responsibility is world-wide. Among the nations of the earth, as well as at home, the old order changes and a new order begins. It is for us as a nation to do our part in seeing that the new order shall be firmly established on the foundations of righteousness and liberty. Whatever of added influence our victory has brought us must be used to strengthen the ties which shall bind all nations in one fellowship for the peace and welfare of mankind.

Remembering these high responsibilities, you will realise that in the choice of representatives in Parliament it is not enough to be satisfied with party zeal or fluency of speech. You will wish to choose members who are marked by width of outlook, by single-minded service, and by sterling character.

God is making a new world, and He is calling upon all who, loving good and hating evil, desire to seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, to be His fellow-workers. If we are ready to obey the call, we may hope to do something in our generation to hasten the day when in fuller measure than we have known as yet God’s kingdom shall come and His Will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P181/28A/27)

“We all long for peace, but it must be peace after victory, and the enemy must be thoroughly beaten first”

Even as more men were reported killed, some were determined that no easy quarter should be given to the enemy.

“Sir Albert Stanley, President of the Board of Trade, has sent a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Bourne, the Chief Rabbi, the Salvation Army, and the heads of Churches of all other Denominations in England and Scotland and Wales, calling attention to the serous scarcity of coal, and suggesting that Church Services should be held in daylight.”

The Times, October 17th.

If this should be enforced, we hope our congregation will loyally fall in with such an arrangement.

THE WAR

Our brave troops, along with those of our Allies, have been winning victory after victory for the last three months, and the enemy has made proposals for an armistice to the President of the United States. We all long for peace, but it must be peace after victory, and the enemy must be thoroughly beaten first. We can safely trust to our Rulers, and to our Admirals and Generals, with those of our Allies, to see that no premature peace is entered upon. Now they need all our prayers, that they may be guided to right decisions. We are deeply thankful for God’s recent mercies to us, and we pray that we may be worthy of them. What a glorious day it will be when the war really ends, and our men return home again!

Mrs Doggett has lost her husband, Sidney Newman Doggett, from illness in France, and we offer her our sincere sympathy in her trouble. Like so many others, he has nobly given his life for his country.

ROLL OF HONOUR

91 Albert Edward Marshall, 2nd Batt. Wilts Regt, died of wounds at Haesnes April 12th, 1918. RIP.
92 John William Charles Gough, 5th Batt. West Riding Regt, killed in action July 20th, 1918. RIP.
93 L-Corp. Frederick John Lake, 1st Dorset Regt, killed in action July 20th, 1918. RIP.
94 Pte Jesse A Buxey, 1st Royal Warwicks, killed in action in France August 30th, 1918. RIP.
95 Pte Sidney Newman Doggett, Roayl Warwickshire Regt, died in France September 28th, 1918. RIP.
96 Gunner Philip John Webb, RGA, died of wounds August 15th, 1918. RIP.

Newbury St Nicolas parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P89/28A/13)

There is no British heart that will not swell with gratitude

Maidenhead Congregational Church anticipated the end of the war.

THE WAR.

Since the last issue of our Magazine things have moved on with astonishing rapidity, and at the moment of writing it looks as though the end were fast approaching, and that it will prove a complete victory for the Allies. There is no British heart that will not swell with gratitude. Looking back across the past four years it has been a perilous and tragic time. And now there will be the almost equally important future of reconstruction to face. Did any body of men, since the world began, ever have entrusted to them a graver and grander task than that which is now, in the providence of God, being allotted to the Peace Conference?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has addressed a letter to the “Times,” in which he says,

“Upon all whom my words may reach I would urge the duty of being instant in prayer. Remember before God the statesmen on either side the sea, upon whom rests a burden of responsibility greater perhaps than ever before. The issues may speedily become critical beyond all words. On their firm handling of these issues may depend under God the future of the world. Pray, then, that they may be endued with a large vision of what is just and right, and may act worthily to the trust, we hold for the generations yet unborn.”

There is surely no fitter subject upon which Christians of every name should concentrate just now in prayer.

OUR SOLDIERS.

We regret to say that the wife of T. W. Mulford has applied for leave to return from Egypt to make arrangements about his children, and is probably on the way home at the present time. Ernest Bristow has had another slight operation to his leg, and is again at Cliveden Hospital. Hugh Lewis is at home on leave, in excellent health. Herbert Brand has been wounded, and is in hospital in England.

THE CHURCHES AND COAL ECONOMY.

The Fuel Controller does not seem to have taken counsel with wisdom in asking Churches to abandon evening services to save coal and light. He did not pause to reflect that if a building is heated for morning and afternoon services, it does not require any further fuel for the evening, and that considerably less light is consumed in Church than would be used by the people if they all remained in their own homes. In the interests of national economy, perhaps it would be well to issue an order that everyone should attend public worship every Sunday evening during the winter!


Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, November 1918 (D/N33/12/1/5)

The spiritual importance of the day

August
The Anniversary of the Declaration of War falls this year upon a Sunday, and special forms of Prayer and Intercession have been put forth by the Archbishops. These we shall make use of at the services on that day.

September
The services on August 4th were deeply impressive to all who took part in them. before the sung Eucharist, the congregation, preceded by the Churchwardens, were led in procession by the Priest and Choir to the Shrine outside. There prayers were offered both for the fallen and those on Service. It was a happy thought which suggested this short act of pilgrimage; it undoubtedly helped to mark the spiritual importance of the day. We owe it to a member of the congregation. We need not add how we Clergy welcome suggestions from our laity which may add life to the Service of the Master. Another member of the congregation had, too, the satisfaction of hearing her own tune and words used as an introit.

South Ascot Parochial Magazine, August and September 1918 (D/P186/28A/18)

Germans 6 to our 1

The news was so bad that even militant union members were holding back now.

Florence Vansittart Neale
26 March 1918

Bapaume lost. Germans 6 to our 1. Nice prayers by Archbishop. Boy & Bubs [Leo and Elizabeth Paget] left us for the White House.

William Hallam
26th March 1918

A meeting of the A.S.E. to protest against such a thing as striking in this crisis so I went to support it.

Diaries of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey (D/EX73/3/17/8)
and of William Hallam (D/EX1415/25)

The great cause for which we are fighting – the cause of liberty, justice, peace and the fellowship of nations

Churches in the Bracknell area joined in the National Day of Intercession.

Ascot

Sunday, January 6th (The Epiphany) has been appointed as a day of Special Prayer for the War and the alms at all services will be for the Red Cross Fund.


Bracknell

‘THE WAR.—In accordance with the King’s Proclamation the first Sunday in the New Year, January 6th,the Feast of the Epiphany, will be observed as a special day of Prayer and Thanksgiving in Bracknell. The services in the Church will be held at the usual hours, but special forms of prayer will be used, and every one who desires to seek the help of God in these anxious times should make a point of being present. The collections will be given to the Red Cross Society.

Cranbourne

THE DAY OF NATIONAL PRAYER.
As we all know, the 1st Sunday in the New Year has been appointed as a “Day for Intercession on behalf of the Nation and Empire in this Time of War.” There will be celebrations of the Holy Communion as 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Special forms of Prayer and Thanksgiving have been issued under the authority of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and will be used at our services. January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany. The idea of the Epiphany is the manifestation of God among all nations nations, and our Bishop has pointed out “how deeply we stand in need of such a manifestation to day, and how “the great cause for which we are fighting – the cause of liberty, justice, peace and the fellowship of nations – would truly, if it were realised, be a manifestation of God, and a preperation for the Kingdom of Christ, for which our most earnest and constant prayers are needed.

It is to be hoped that, whatever the weather is, none of us will be absent from the services on January 6th, but that we shall, as a Parish kneel before the Throne of Grace and offer up our petitions to Him who judges the peoples of the world, and is our only refuge and strength, and a very present help in time of trouble.

Winkfield

VICAR’s LETTER.

My Dear Friends,

Once again the New Year will find us in the midst of the horrors of war, and in our King’s words, “this world wide struggle for the triumph of right and liberty is entering on its last and most difficult phase when we shall need our courage fortified to face the sacrifices we may yet hace to make before our work is done.”

Very justly does the King call upon all his people to make the first Sunday of the New Year a Day of special Prayer and Thanksgiving, a day of National Intercession to Gon on Behalf of our Country, for the great casuse of rightousness entrusted to us, and for the men (so many of them near and dear to us in Winkfield) who are fighting for it on sea and land.

We all long for a victorious Peace, but can we expect that almighty God will, as a matter of course, give it us, if we do not think it worth while to ask Him for it by humble and united Public Prayer; for until we, as a whole Nation, realise our need od something more that material force, we do not deserve to win.

It is then a real patriotic duty for every man and woman to attend their Parish Church on January 6th and take their part in this National wave of Intercession. Our Sailors and Soldiers have a right to expect our prayers; and the help and co-operation of those who seldom or never go to Church or Chapel is specially asked on this great and solemn occasion.

I can only solemnly repeat what I wrote last year that I should not like to have on my own conscience the responsibility which that man or woman takes who could help their Country by joining in this movement, and yet is too careless and indifferent to do so.

If you belevie in God, and have any love for your Country, come and help.

Your sincere Friend and Vicar,

H.M. Maynard

The Services on January 6th will be:

8 a.m., Holy Communion.
11 a.m. Service and Holy Communion.
6.30 p.m. Special Intercession Service (copies of which will be provided.)

Bracknell, February

The Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving in connection with the War on January 6th was fairly well kept in Bracknell. The congregations were larger than usual in the morning and evening, and in the afternoon a considerably number of people attended the special service. The weather was bad and hindered some who would have wished to be present, but it was a little disappointing not to have had quite crowded congregations on such a day.

Winkfield and Warfield Magazine, January 1918 (D/P 151/281/10)

“Our earnest approach to and intercession with God is the most powerful weapon we can use for the destruction of German oppression”

Churches in the Bracknell area joined in the commemoration of the war’s third aniversary.

Bracknell

THE WAR.

Special Services have been arranged for Sunday, August 5th, the anniversary of the commencement of the war. As we enter on the fourth year of this terrible conflict we shall greatly desire to come together to entreat God to give us His blessing, to crown our efforts with victory, and to give His mighty protection to our Sailors and Soldiers. Let us not be weary of praying. There will be special prayers at the Holy Communion and at Morning and Evening Prayer.


Winkfield

SPECIAL NOTICE.

On Sunday, August 5th, there will be special Services of Prayer and Intercession to mark the third anniversary of the War. There will be celebrations of Holy Communion at 8 at S. Mary the Less, and midday at the Parish Church. The preacher morning and evening will be Rev. Walter Weston, and the offertories will be given to the Missions to Seamen.

Warfield

MY DEAR FRIENDS AND PARISHIONERS.-

There is one thought that will fill our minds at the beginning of this month, the third anniversary of the war. The Archbishops have set forth a special set of Services for use on the 4th and 5th; and having the further approval of our own Bishop, they will be used in this parish on those days. On Saturday there will be a special celebration of Holy Communion at 7 o’clock and at 8 o’clock; matins at 10 and Evensong at 3p.m. There will further be an open air Service at 8 p.m. at the Cross Roads near the Brownlow Hall, with procession along the Street and back to the Hall. On Sunday the services will be at the usual hours with special lessons. I sincerely hope that every parishioner will make a point of seeking God’s help at this time in a real spirit of unity and brotherhood, remembering that our earnest approach to and intercession with God is the most powerful weapon we can use for the destruction of German oppression and support of our brothers fighting in foreign lands. When you have read this letter, at once make up your minds what you will do in this respect and resolve to carry it out. Should Saturday evening be wet, the service will be held at the same hour in the Parish Church. Let us all do our best for a Service of one heart and one mind.

Yours affectionately in Christ,

WALTER THACKERAY

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/8)

This awful anniversary – the end is not yet in sight

The third anniversary of the start of the war was a time for reflection.

Reading St Giles
August

Saturday, August the 4th, will be the 3rd Anniversary of the declaration of the War, and the beginning of a 4TH Year. There will be celebrations of the Eucharist at 6.45, 7.30& 8 a.m. I hope that a great many will endeavour to be present to pray and intercede.
I propose on the following day, Sunday the 5th, to have a solemn requiem at 11a.m. for the fallen in the War. If any relatives or friends wish for the mention of names will they please send them into me by August 4th. At evensong, on Sunday the 5th, the special form of intercession put forth by the Archbishop will be used.

September

I was very thankful to see in August 4th, the 3rd Anniversary of the war, so many present at the Eucharist to intercede for our sailors and soldiers, and to pray for Victory and a righteous peace. The number of communions made was nearly four times as large as last year.

Broad Street Congregational Church

AUGUST THE FOURTH

Saturday, August 4th, will bring the third anniversary of the declaration of war, and in this connection a service arranged by the Reading Free Church Council will be held in our church beginning at 3 p.m. The service will be largely intercessory, and it will be conducted by ministers representing the various Free Churches in the town, those having promised to take part being the Rev. J A Alderson (President of the Council), Rev. T W Beck (Wesleyan), Rev. J Carter (Primitive Methodist), Rev. W C King (Baptist), Rev. J Mitchell (Presbyterian), and Rev. E J Perry, BD (Congregational).

Both last year and the year before similar services were held, and they were attended by large congregations. We hope it may be the same again this year.

Wargrave
August 4th and 5th, 1917:

These are days to be much observed with prayer being the third Anniversary of the declaration of War.

Saturday, August 4th, Holy Communion at the Parish Church 8.a.m. Mattins 10.a.m. Evensong 7.p.m. Special forms of prayer.

Sunday, August 5th, Services as usual: Special forms of prayer.

Cranbourne

In connection with the third Anniversary of the Declaration of War the special Forms of Prayer issued by the Archbishops were said in Church, and also at a united Service held in the Sunday School after Evensong. To this service our Wesleyan friends came in large numbers, and the address was given by the Rev. J.S. Hollingworth.

Earley St Peter

The Vicar’s Letter

My dear friends,

On August 4th we shall have reached the third anniversary of the commencement of the war, and we hope that all will observe it on Sunday, August 5th, and make the day a time for earnest prayer that peace may be restored. Three years ago there were comparatively few thought that it would have lasted so long. We feel as sure as ever that our cause will finally triumph, but the end is not yet in sight, and we have still to go on working and enduring, with a full trust that all will come right in God’s good time. It is true that as the writer of the Book of Proverbs says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick”; but we forget the second half of the verse, “but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” – that desire with us is a just and secure peace, under which we pray that the world will be restored and revivified; but we must each do our part.

From a secular point of view there are not many who are not working for their country and doing their best, but can we say that the nation as a whole is doing its best from a spiritual point of view, as a profesedly Christian nation? Are there not many among ourselves who, though deeply sincere at first, have gradually fallen back into the ruts of carelessness and indifference, and ought not what our Bishop calls this “awful anniversary” to give us cause to think very seriously on our position nationally and individually?

Your friend and vicar,
W W Fowler.

THE BISHOP’S MESSAGE

The following extracts are from the Bishop’s message in the August Diocesan Magazine:

Your prayers are specially asked

For our country and our allies, and for the whole world at the beginning of the fourth year of the war.
For victory and peace.
For a settlement in Ireland…

THE OBSERVANCE OF AUGUST 4-5

Before the Magazine reaches you, you will have in your hands the prayers and suggestions for prayer put out by the archbishops, with the consent of the diocesan bishops, for this awful anniversary. I have not anything to add to what is there suggested, there is abundant need that we should call to prayer all who believe in its power – that is all who believe in our Lord. And there is abundant need also that we should do all that lies in our power to maintain the spirit of our nation at its best level, at the level at which it can pray to God as we Christians have been taught to believe in Him.

A PRAYER FOR GIRLS WORKING IN MUNITIONS AND ON THE LAND

O most merciful Father, we beseech Thee to bless and protect the Girls, who have gone to work in the Munition Factories and on the land. Preserve them from all evil. Keep them in good health. Comfort them with Thy presence when they are lonely, and homesick, and tired. Grant that their influence may be for good, and that by their lives they may lead others nearer to Thee. Very specially we ask for a blessing on the work of the Church among them. Grant that we at home may realise how much there is to do, and that we may not fail in sacrifice, and work, and prayer. For Jesus Christ’s sake.
Amen.

C. OXON.

Reading St Giles parish magazines, August and September 1917 (D/P96/28A/32); Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, August 1917 (D/N11/12/1/14); Wargrave parish magazine, August 1917 (D/P145/28A/31); Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, September 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/9)Earley St Peter parish magazines, 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

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)

Thankful recognition of the devotion which has been shown by the manhood and the womanhood of our country

The Bishop of Oxford urged Berkshire people to take part in the Day of National Prayer on 31 December.

Wokingham

Day of National Prayer.

The following announcement is made by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York:-

In accordance with what was done throughout England on the first Sunday of the years 1915 and 1916, it is proposed that in the Cathedrals and parish churches of England on Sunday, December 31st next, special prayer should be offered in connection with the war, and thankful recognition made of the devotion which has been shown by the manhood and the womanhood of our country.

Reading

December 31st

The last day in the year will be observed as a day of special prayer and thanksgiving in connection with the War. The collections at all the services will be given to the Red Cross Society and the Order of the Society of S. John of Jerusalem, in accordance with the wishes expressed by the Archbishop.

Earley

THE BISHOP’S MESSAGE

The following extracts are from the Bishop’s message in the December Diocesan Magazine:

Your prayers are specially asked
For the good hand of God upon us in the war.
For our allies, and especially for the Roumanians [sic] and the Belgians…
For the day of prayer concerning the war (December 31st).

THE DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE NATION AT WAR

December 31st has been fixed as a day of prayer. You will not need material to help your devotion, as, I think, we have sufficient. But, as the strain of the war increases and there are no signs of the end, we need to be more than ever faithful and importunate in common prayer.

C. OXON

LIST OF MEN SERVING IN HIS MAJESTY’S FORCES

The following additional names have been added to our prayer list:
Victor Jennings, Charles Bowden, Walter Ravening, Cecil Ravening, William Parsons, Joseph Cane, Frederick Brooker, Percy Brooker, Henry Furnell, Charles Smith, Frederick Smithers.

In addition to those already mentioned we especially commend the following to your prayers:

Sick: Frederick Allen, William Worsfold.
Killed: Stephen Ravening, Arthur Furnell, Frank Furnell, Thomas Brooker, Albert Hall.
Missing: Allan Smit.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P154C/28A/1); Reading St Mary parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P98/28A/14); Earley parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/12)