The immediate need for comforts for the soldiers is over

A sewing group decided to move on from wartime work to raising money for the church.

CARE AND COMFORTS WORKING PARTY

On February 12th the vicar visited the Working Party to review the work that has been done since its inception in 1915, and to decide as to its future.

It was started by the Rev. T. Guy Rogers in April, 1915, as a Parochial Working Party, primarily to bring together members of St John’s and St Stephen’s congregations for friendly intercourse. This was to be fostered by a common interest, viz work for our local hospitals. The meeting was held on Wednesdays at the Institute until the Flying Corps took possession, when it adjourned to the Princes Street Mission Room. Miss Homan and Mrs Morley were in charge, and when Miss Homan left Miss Britton took her place.

£47 15s 9d has been collected in the parish for materials, and 3,572 things have been made.

The immediate need for comforts for the soldiers being over, the question arose as to whether it should come to an end, or, if not, under what conditions it should be carried on.

It was suggested that it should revert to its original name – Parochial Working Party – and that its raison d’etre should be to work on a business basis for the CMS, buying materials and making things for anyone who would give orders – all profits to go to the CMS. But the Working Party should also do any needlework when needed for either of the churches, e.g. mending communion linen, surplices and cassocks.

It should meet on Wednesdays from 2.30 to 4.30, and any member of either church should be welcomed, provided only that she could sew. These suggestions were agreed to.

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

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A war memorial scheme that will command the sympathy and approval of us all

The RAF had used a church hall in east Reading.

My dear friends…

I am glad to say that S. John’s Institute is being restored to the Parish. The R.A.F. are vacating the premises on January 31st. It will be good to have the building under our control once more. The R.A.F. have been most considerate in allowing us the use of the Large Hall almost whenever we applied for it, but we have missed the smaller rooms very much… We must not be disappointed, however, if we cannot get back to the Institute just at once; there will be a good deal of cleaning up to be done before the building will be quite ready for full parochial occupation. Also, we must remember that the small rent paid by the military authorities has just sufficed to pay the expenses of running the building during the time of their occupation. This rent will now cease, and the Institute will become again one of the chief charges upon the parish; perhaps you will remember this when sending in your subscriptions for 1919…

I hope that the War Memorial Committee will be able soon to lay before me a scheme that will command the sympathy and approval of us all, and especially of those most concerned – members of our congregation who have themselves suffered bereavement in the war…

Your sincere friend and vicar,
W. Britton

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

“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)

Never a better moment for preaching the Christmas message of “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men”

Reading men were to be welcomed home.

My dear Friends…

I have received a letter from the Bishop bringing to my notice his own and the Archbishops’ suggestions for the observance of the Christmas season. He says, “As to Christmas itself, there was never a better moment for preaching the Christmas message of “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men”. I trust that in this connection you will lead your people in earnest prayer for the effective establishment of a League of Nations to secure a just and permanent peace.

On December 29th we are recommended by the Archbishops to make united, reverent and thankful commemoration of those who have died in the War. Sunday, January 5th, it is suggested that we should offer special thanksgiving for victory and special prayer for the statesmen assembled in the Peace Conference.’ I propose to act on these suggestions; accordingly the list of those belonging to us who have fallen in the war will be read out at Morning and Evening Prayer on the last Sunday of the year and special thanksgiving and prayer on the lines indicated will be offered on the following Sunday. The Bishop speaks also of the need of securing a hearty and religious welcome for every one of the returning soldiers in all parishes. This can only be done by the co-operation of the people. I shall be most grateful for information as to the return of soldiers and sailors, such as shall enable me to call and offer each man a personal welcome back to the parish. …

Your sincere friend and vicar,

W. Britton

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

Joy in victory is clouded by the thought of those whose fidelity unto death helped to win that victory

A Reading vicar rejoiced at the end of the war.

MY DEAR FRIENDS

None of us are ever likely to forget the month that is ended. We have lived through tremendous days, apocalyptic days, when the judgements of God have been manifest in all the earth, when his voice has been heard saying to them that rose up against Him, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Witnessing the utter downfall, the complete humiliation and final ruin of the Germanic Alliance, we are driven again to the great poetry of the psalms for words adequate to describe the things we have seen, and we find them in the second psalm, ‘The Kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed… He that dwelleth in Heaven shall laugh them to scorn, the Lord shall have them in derision… Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ And from the same psalm we draw the moral for ourselves, ‘Serve the Lord in peace and rejoice unto Him with reverence.’ Reverence was the most marked feature of those wonderful Services of Thanksgiving wherein on Monday evening and on the following Sunday we thanked God for His deliverance and for the victory which we attribute only to His help- reverence and a solemn awe. A new devotion to God’s service and a new oath of allegiance to the divine King must be our permanent response to our God thus made manifest in judgement and in mercy.’ This God is our God for ever and ever. He shall be our guide even unto death.’

In the midst of our rejoicings our loving sympathy goes out to those whose joy in victory is clouded by the thought of those whose fidelity unto death helped to win that victory. May the knowledge that the sacrifice has not been in vain comfort the hearts of all whose dear ones’ names are entered on our Roll of Honour for the fallen and must in due time be permanently engraved upon the walls of our Church.

The news of the signing of the armistice came to us in the midst of the severe epidemic of influenza which has claimed many victims among soldiers and civilians alike….

We pray that God may bring comfort to the parents of soldiers who have died of pneumonia following on influenza, among whom we would mention Privates Aliban and Church, old boys of St John’s and St Stephen’s respectively. Lastly, we offer respectful sympathy to the family and friends of Frank Fisher, old boy and chorister of St Stephen’s, killed in battle in the last month of the war….

The sermon and preaching arrangements for Advent will be found in the Calendar. I propose on Sunday mornings at St John’s to speak from the Christian standpoint on certain important ideas which are at present occupying the minds of thoughtful people, under the general title of “Issues of the Great War”. My subjects each Sunday will be:

Dec. 1 The War to end War
Dec. 8 The World Safe for Democracy
Dec. 15 The League of Free Nations
Dec. 22 The Re-union of Christendom…

I wish you all a very happy Christmas. The birthday of the Prince of Peace will be celebrated this year by a world at peace at last after 4 ½ years of war. Let us celebrate it with glad thanksgiving and with the earnest prayer that the hearts of all men everywhere may be inclined to do His Will, so that there be permanent peace on earth, among men of good will.

Your sincere friend and vicar,

W. Britton.

Reading St. John parish magazine, December 1918 (D/P172/28A/24)

“We shall pray most earnestly that the wisdom of God may show the nations what is still hidden from their eyes, the ways that may lead them into peace”

St John’s was just one of the Reading churches united in prayer for the war to end.

Letter from the vicar

I write this on the eve of starting for a short holiday in Devonshire. I am to return in time for Sunday, August 4th, when we shall celebrate the fifth anniversary of the entry of this country into the world war which is still raging. Following the lead given by our King and the civic authorities in the chief city of our Empire and in many others, we shall observe the day as a solemn day of prayer. In the churches of our own parish the services throughout the day will be of a specially devotional character. We shall remember before God the heroic dead, with gratitude for the inspiration of their lives and with prayer that we may not falter in devotion to the ideal for which their lives were laid down. We shall pray for the heroic living, still battling on land and sea, in the air, and under the sea, for the cause which we believe God has summoned us to uphold. We shall pray for ourselves that we may be saved from selfishness and sin, uplifted to self-sacrifice and steeled to endurance; and we shall pray most earnestly that the wisdom of God may show the nations what is still hidden from their eyes, the ways that may lead them into peace, and may incline all men’s hearts everywhere to do his will.

It is estimated that on the battlefields of Europe ten millions of men have already laid down their lives. Under the shadow of this great tragedy let us draw near to our God, who alone can bring us out of the darkness, and whose law of righteousness provides the only basis upon which any permanent peace can be established.

In the afternoon all the religious bodies at our end of town are uniting in a solemn service of intercession, to be held at 3.30 pm on St John’s Lawn. I hope that the afternoon will be fine and that the greatest crowd ever seen there will assemble on the Lawn….

Your sincere friend and vicar
W Britton

UNITED SERVICE OF INETRCESSION

It is hoped that all Christian people in the east end of the town will uinite in a service of intercession on St John’s Lawn at 3.30 o’clock on Sunday, August 4th. The following congregations have been invited to take part, and up to the time of writing this, most of them, through their ministers,have accepted:

Earley, St Bartholomew’s, St Luke’s, St John’s, St Stephen’s, Wycliffe, Trinity, Wesleyan, St Andrew’s Presbyterian, Anderson Memorial, Cumberland Road, Park, King’s Road. His Worship the Mayor has kindly signified his intention to be present.

Should the weather be wet, the service will be held in St John’s Hall.

CARE AND COMFORTS WORKING PARTY

The following gifts have been received during the month:

Miss Rebbeck 5/- and material for 64 face cloths, Miss Hewett 3/6, Mrs Bowyer 5/-, Mrs Dauncey 1/-, Mrs May 2/6, Miss Bradley 2/6, Mrs Morley 10/-. In addition the members of the working party subscribe one penny per week each.

The following things have been made, 3 white shirts, 5 pairs pants, 3 cushion covers, 20 sterilizing bags, 7 treasure bags. Total 3259.

The balance sheet shows an expenditure on materials for over 3000 pieces of work, of £37 11s 4d, and subscriptions amounting to £38 4s 2d, so that the funds in hand are in a very low state just now, and the treasurer appeals for donations, however small, so that a stock of woollen stuffs for the autumn work may be obtained as soon as possible. The workers meet in the Princes Street Mission Room on Wednesdays from 2.30 to 4.30 pm, and anyone who would like to visit them at that time will be welcome.

Donations should be sent to Miss Rundell, 7 Alexandra Road.

September 1918

Letter from vicar

We must all, I think, feel stronger for the solemn and helpful services of August 4th, as we are cheered by the good news which came to us from the Western Front the same week. There is, may we not believe, more than a coincidence in this sequence of events. God does answer prayer. If our people would but turn to Him and wait upon Him in the spirit of our Day of Remembrance continually, He will hear and answer the pleadings of a penitent people who call on Him day and night. Not the least impressive of our services was the great gathering for united intercession on St John’s Lawn, when we had the satisfaction of uniting with so many of our brother Christians of all denominations in earnest prayer to God for His blessing and help….

Reading St. John parish magazines, August and September 1918 (D/P172/28A/24)

Donations gratefully received

Reading women continued to support wounded soldiers.

CARE AND COMFORTS WORKING PARTY

Donations have been gratefully received from Miss Britton, 10/-; the Misses Thorogood, 15/-.

List of articles made this month: 4 pyjamas, 33 treasure bags, 64 face cloths, 5 white shirts, 17 cushion covers, 1 bed jacket.

Total articles already sent, 3,221.

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

Eggs are invaluable when wounded men are not able to take any substantial food

Eggs were a welcome gift for wounded soldiers.

Children’s Egg Service

The following letter has been received from the Secretary of the Care and Comforts Committee:

Dear Mr Britton

I am writing for the Care and Comforts Committee to ask you to thank the children for the quantity of beautiful eggs they sent us for the wounded men in our hospitals. A number of men have just come from France, and I know they will greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness of the children. There are many cases in which eggs are invaluable when men are not able to take any substantial food.

Yours sincerely

H Kensington
Hon. Secretary

62 Minster Street, Reading

Reading St. John parish magazine, May 1918 (D/P172/28A/24)

Lessons of the Great War

The vicar of Reading St John suggested parishioners might like to help provide a new communion set for an army chaplain:

Letter from the vicar

My dear friends,

My own letter to you this month will be a brief one, as I want to give pride of place to Mr Morley’s very interesting letter from the front. Perhaps some of his friends in the parish would like to supply his obvious need of a set of Communion vessels of convenient size. I shall be very glad to receive subscriptions for this purpose….

The addresses on Wednesday evenings [during Lent] are to be given by the Rev. E J Norris… These services will consist of war intercessions and the address, and will last about 40 minutes…

At St Stephen’s Church on Thursday evenings there will be a series of lantern services, if gas is obtainable for the lantern, under the general heading, “Lessons of the Great War”. The pictures illustrating the addresses are really beautiful, and I think the services will be found both helpful and comforting….

Also let us not cease day and night to make supplication to God for the restoration of Peace.

Your sincere friend and vicar

W. Britton

Reading St. John parish magazine, February 1918 (D/P172/28A/24)

May God in His great mercy bring this terrible war to an end before another year is through

There was a Christmas message for men from Reading St John.

TO SOLDIERS AND SAILORS ON ACTIVE SERVICE

Brothers,

Let me once again, in a few brief words, express to you all the cordial good wishes of your friends back here in the home parish. out of hearts full of affection and gratitude we send you our very warmest Christmas greetings. You may be sure that we shall be thinking of you on Christmas Day, and praying for you too. May God in His great mercy bring this terrible war to an end before another year is through, so that all the families now separated may be reunited, and the men now on the sea or in the trenches may spend next Christmas in peace under their own roof-tree.

Believe me,

Your very sincere friend and vicar

W. Britton

Reading St. John parish magazine, December 1917 (D/P172/28A/24)

“Help the country and benefit yourself”

St John’s Church in Reading was a latecomer to promoting war savings, but explained its scheme very clearly.

S. JOHN’S WAR SAVINGS ASSOCIATION

Though somewhat late in the field, an Association for War Savings has now been started. Early in the month of March a meeting of the parishioners was held with the object of forming the Association for the parish and congregations of the two churches. A committee was formed as follows: the Rev. W Britton, chairman; Mr Haslam, vice-chairman; Miss Winter, treasurer; Mr Penson, secretary, with Miss Ridley and Miss Rundell as assistant secretaries; the other members of the committee being Mr F Winter, rev. R W Morley, Mr Badcock, Mr Hopcraft, Mrs Harrison Jones, Miss Wilkinson, Mrs Herbert Kingham, and Miss Ayres.

Subscriptions will be received at the Princes Street Mission Room, on Monday in each week from 12 noon to 12.45 pm; and also once a month after the District Vistors’ Meeting at 3.15 pm. Subscriptions will also be received at the Albert Road Mission Room, on Tuesday in each week, from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm. The first day of attendance to receive subscriptions will be Monday April 2nd…

By this scheme, subscribers purchase from the collector a 6d coupon, which is stuck onto a card with 31 spaces for 31 coupons. When all the spaces are filled with coupons value … in total 15s 6d, a certificate for £1 will then be given in exchange for the card. This certificate can be cashed for 15s 6d at any time within twelve months from the date of issue, and for 15ts 9d at the end of one year, at the end of 2 years for 16 s 9d, at the end of 3 years for 17s 9d, at the end of 4 years for 18s 9d, and 5 years for £1.

The advantage of joining this Association is that, if there are say 31 members and they each purchase a 6d coupon, a certificate for 15s 6d is immediately purchased by the secretary. The first member to complete his or her card by having purchased 31 coupons, will receive this certificate, which will be dated some weeks back, viz at the time of purchase by the secretary. By the time it comes into the hands of the member a small sum by way of interest will have accrued…

Note the following points: Saving helps the Country which needs labour and materials for winning the War, and money with which to pay for them.

By saving, later on you will have £1 to spend instead of 15s. 6d. In this way you help the country and benefit yourself. Begin at once and get all the benefit you can.

Reading St. John parish magazine, April 1917 (D/P172/28A/24)

The future of civilisation depends on the brotherhood of nations

The vicar of a Reading church had some thoughts about the effects of the war – and the future of the world.

Love the brotherhood: a sermon preached at St John’s and St Stephen’s Churches on Sunday, January 7th, 1917, by the vicar, the Rev. W. Britton

“Love the Brotherhood”. This is our motto for the year…

There are two competing principles by which men are wont to regulate their actions and to determine their relations to one another: one is summed up in the phrase “the will to power”, in obedience to which every individual man pushes and struggles and fights his way to the front perfectly regardless of any injury inflicted on other people, and somehow out of the endless rivalries and fightings of individuals, the good of the whole is supposed to result. The other is expressed in the words of our text, “Love the brotherhood”, in obedience to which the individual sacrifices himself and seeks the good of the whole… Which of these principles is right? One at least, the first, is wrong; for it has been tried on a large scale and over a long period and we are witnessing its total failure today. Now we are engaged in an experiment in the second, to which we have been driven by grim necessity, and from that experiment large benefits are flowing into us already… It is also my belief that our country, our Allies and the whole of Europe must blazon it on their banners if we are to obtain that final tranquilising of Europe and permanent peace of the world which we all so earnestly desire….

Consider first that brotherhood of nations which the aggression of Germany has called into being, and her powerful blows have only succeeded in welding into closer cohesion. That wonderful alliance which is not a triple or a quadruple, but a multiple alliance of ten nations into which all its members both small and great have entered quite freely and spontaneously, that alliance which is held together by a common danger, a common interest, a common duty, and a common goal. I say, consider and think whether the future of civilisation does not depend on the integrity of that alliance and its ability to maintain itself close and unbroken. Let suspicion, or jealousy, or war-weariness, or any other disruptive influences drive asunder those nations who now stand shoulder to shoulder, and down they go one by one, they cannot succeed in their mutual undertaking, their splendid cause is lot. We must love the brotherhood now or we cannot triumph; and we must love the brotherhood more than ever when the victory shall have come and when the difficult task of redrawing the map of Europe must be undertaken, lest the tragic sequel of the Balkan War, when the victorious nations of the Balkan league quarrelled over the spoils and turned to fighting one another, be repeated on a greater and more ruinous scale. Love the brotherhood therefore that now exists, but acknowledge that it is not yet perfect, cannot be perfect until it embraces all Europe, and therefore it must not shut its doors until the Germanic peoples have been admitted, for until brotherhood be complete, there can be no permanence in peace….

So it must be within the boundaries of our own nation. Our minds go back to the evil days before the great storm broke upon us when the spectre of Civil war stalked through the land. Then came the great danger from without, and the ranks closed up; a common peril, a common need, a common love hushed our party cries and brought us to an outward unity – a unity that has, I think, been growing more inward and more real, more coloured with genuine mutual esteem and affection as the war has gone on. How foolish, how petty, how wicked seem those epithets so freely banded about in pre-war days – Traitor, Time-server, Hypocrite, Pro-this and pro-that – now that men of differing opinions have been compelled to recognise in their opponents a sincerity, a readiness to sacrifice, a devotion to King and Country, and to duty, equal to their own….

Reading St. John parish magazine, February 1917 (D/P172/28A/24)

The stream of wounded increases

The needlework of Reading women was increasingly needed as the flow of wounded from the Somme reached British shores.

CARE AND COMFORTS WORKING PARTY

It is quite a long time since we made an appeal for this most deserving object, but the funds are now in need of replenishment and we ask for some donations.

The work of this organisation is of the highest value, and the need of the articles which is makes is increasing almost daily as the stream of wounded from the great offensive increases in volume. We feel sure that gratitude to our wounded and the desire we all have to do our part, however small, will not allow the output of this Working Party to dwindle from want of materials, or the money to purchase them. Subscriptions will be gladly received by Miss Britton at the Vicarage.

The following articles have been sent to the Depot: 3 bed jackets, 4 flannel shirts, 23 many-tailed bandages, 17 locker cloths, 1 pair of socks, 1 suit of pyjamas, 14 trench-feet bandages, 1 vest, 8 lavender bags (Mrs Bowyer) – 72. Total, with those already sent in, 1,654.

C.L.B.

The St John’s Company of the C.L.B. heard with very mixed feelings of the promotion of the captain to a commission in the army. On the one hand they felt that the company was honoured in the honour done to its captain; on the other hand the company had been doing exceedingly well of late under Lieutenant Reeves and his departure was likely to prove a serious setback to a period of real progress. It is with great satisfaction, then, that we learn that the vacant captaincy has been offered to, and accepted by, Mr E. Hawkes, who will bring much capacity and not a little experience in matters military to his new position.

Reading St. John parish magazine, October 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)

How can we be calm in days like these?

A sermon preached by the Revd W. Britton as he began his ministry at St John’s, Reading, on Sunday evening, January 9th, 1916, impressed parishioners enough to reprint in the parish magazine.

I come tonight to give you a message at a time like this when this people of England undoubtedly is faced by a great danger and by a great difficulty. He that denies we are compassed about by danger and difficulty and that our future is going to be no easy future dwells in a fool’s paradise. We live in dangerous days and difficult. This empire which has been built up by our fathers is being tried and tested in these days of their sons.

What does this empire most need? I say without any hesitation that the greatest need of this empire today is that her sons and daughters should be tranquil people, calm people, not flurried, not flustered, not uneasy; calm because strong, strong because they have faith, strong and able to strengthen their brethren. Those are the men we want, at home as well as abroad. Men who are not intimidated by danger, men who are not cast into abysses of despair because plans miscarry, and armies have to be withdrawn; men who meet disaster with unruffled composure and repair mistakes – mistake after mistake if need be; men who move forward in loyal and unflinching obedience to their leaders, and in a trust which never falters in the justice of their cause and the certainty of its ultimate triumph. We have such men in our ships upon the seas.

I have had this text, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength”, often on my mind these last few weeks. It rarely comes without this thought – that in that great Navy, which does its work so quietly, with so little fuss and with such great efficiency, we have almost its best example. These men are efficient, and they are confident; they have a certain faith in the speed of their ships, in the great range of their guns; they have a certain strength and faith in their own efficiency for every call which shall come. They are strong, they are confident; they know something, that is why they are strong.

We have such men on the seas, in the trenches, in the air. But look at home. Have we got such men in our editorial chairs; have we got such men representing every constituency in Parliament? Are there such men in the streets; are the men as they chatter in the clubs such men as these? it is not confidence, it is not strength that bubbles out in indiscreet questions in Parliament; that gushes out in fatuous and foolish advice in the columns of our newspapers, or in peevish complaints in the mouth of the citizen….

You may say legitimately, “I am an uneasy sort of being, and I cannot help it. I have enough to make me uneasy. My boys are out in the Dardanelles; my business is in the worst of conditions; my home is even threatened; how can I be quiet with all this coming upon me?” Sir! There can be no quietness where there is no confidence; there can be no strength where there is no faith. But the finest tempered strength is bred of a certain conviction, a faith that our God lives and that he goes marching on. That is what we need if we are to be calm and strong. If you had such a conviction your friend who met you in the street might say, “Calm in days like these?” And you might answer, “I am calm, quiet, tranquil, because I know something.” “O! you have got hold of some military secret, some great naval secret, some political secret.” “O no, it is not a secret I have got hold of… it is the eternal truth that God lives”… Though our foes roll up in ever increasing numbers, though Turkey be added to Germany and Austria, though Bulgaria adds itself to them…

Reading St. John parish magazine, February 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)