We may find peace more dangerous than war, but we have great faith in the newly granted votes for women

Earley women were encouraged to consider their vote.

The Vicar’s Letter

My Dear Friends

Our first feeling this month is surely one of deep thankfulness to Almighty God for our deliverance from the dark cloud of war that has so long brooded over us; we can hardly yet realise the greatness of our victory; as a nation, we have taken it calmly and seriously, and in our thanksgiving services, we have shown that we definitely ascribe it to the giver of all good. It is well that we should have been so, for we have a great deal before us; in the first place let us pray earnestly for a just and righteous, an an abiding peace; and in the next place let us all remember the great responsibilities that are opening upon us, or we may find peace more dangerous than war.

After all great wars there has always been more or less of an upheaval, and many people are looking forward with dread to the next two or three years, but we feel sure that the common sense of our country will prevail, and that the spirit in which we have carried on through the war will carry us on through the early and troublesome times of peace, if we are only true to ourselves and the principles on which we have met the long struggle for right and justice.

Not least among the factors which will make for this result is the coming General Election; if everyone will give his or her vote for what he or she thinks really best for the welfare of the nation. We shall have gone far to solve many of the problems that will soon press upon us: and in this connection we have great faith in the newly granted votes for women; it is surely a great historic occasion when the “Mother of Parliaments” for the first time admits women to vote for her formation, and we hope that there will be no slackness in recording the vote, but that every woman will weigh for herself the position of affairs and fully discharge her responsibility.

Owing to the very large increase in the cost of printing and paper the Magazine, if continued, will have under present arrangements, to face a deficit of £40 or £50 for the coming year; moreover, it is impossible to obtain nearly a sufficient number of the “Dawn of Day” to go round, as the publishers cannot supply more than about 400 copies, and we want nearly 600; it is therefore, possible, that the magazine may have to be discontinued for a year; if this is the case we hope to issue a bi-monthly or quarterly sheet containing the chief Parish news at the price of a halfpenny a copy, as is done in other parishes. In any case we hope to continue the Magazine on its old basis, as soon as conditions improve.

In case, therefore, that the Magazine does not appear in January, I take this opportunity of wishing everyone a Happy New Year as well as a Happy Christmas; we have much, very much, to be thankful for, and we should try and show our thankfulness by sympathizing withal those whose Christmas will be darkened, though we may hope not without happiness, by helping others, and above all by consecrating our lives by coming to the Holy Communion on Christmas Day, and resolving come more regularly in the future.

Your friend and Vicar.

W.W. FOWLER.

Earley St Peter parish magazine, November 1918 (D/P191/28A/25)

The further call for soldiers brings home to us the coming climax of the War

There was still need for more soldiers.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,-

… Last month was a busy one, and our record of it has to be compressed; nor can I find space for a letter from Mr. Sellors, who, I am glad to say, keeps well and fit at Salonika…

As regards to more serious things, we have to thank Mr. F. Rogers for two beautiful flags for the Church; they will be a valued reminder of all we have gone through together during the War. The further call for soldiers brings home to us the coming climax of the War. Still more families have a personal interest in the welfare of our Navy, Army and Air Force.

Let those of us at home turn still more earnestly to God for strength to do our duty and bear our burdens. For from him alone comes the power to be workers, and not drones, whether for God’s service, or that of our Country, or our Homes.

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

PARISH MAGAZINE

Owing to paper shortage, we are only allowed about 525 copies of the “Dawn of Day” a month. So about 1590 people will have to be content with Parish matter only.

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

Balance sheets are delightful things now-a-days

Newbury’s clergymen were rejected for war work, while the parish magazine was at risk.

THE WAR

There are reported Missing – Alfred Dennis, William Smith, Mr Barlow, and Mr Marshall; Wounded – Ernest Giggs; Gassed – Jack Smart; Prisoners – Jack Cooke and William Selwyn. We offer our sympathy to the relatives and friends.

The clergy of the diocese have received a Form from the Bishop on which they could offer for War Service. The Rector stated on his Form that he would be prepared to go to a Church Army Hut for several months if the work of the Parish could be provided for; and he has received the following reply through the Bishop’s Secretary: “The Bishop says stay where you are”.

Mr Marle offered to go to a YMCA Hut for four months, but received the reply: “The Bishop certainly thinks that you should stay where you are”.

As with our food, our clothes, and our boots, so with our paper. We are continually being faced with a new situation. After urging our readers to continue to take in the Parish Magazine, we have received a communication from the publishers of the Dawn of Day [insert] that there is serious shortage of paper, or that there will be, asking us to cut down our number of copies. However, it appears that our circulation has been so far reduced that we shall not have to ask any of our subscribers not to subscribe; but whether we shall be able to make both ends meet at the end of the year is doubtful. Balance sheets are delightful things now-a-days.

Newbury St Nicholas parish magazine, June 1918(D/P89/28A/13)

“A measure forced upon us by the War”

It was usual for church magazines to contain not only the unique local information and articles which we are drawing on for this blog, but also a nationally published magazine like The Parish Magazine, Home Words, or Dawn Of Day, which was sewn into the local magazine. These included serious articles and short stories, and provided popular reading for the general public at a relatively low price. But war conditions put the practice at risk. It is interesting to note that in Wargrave, church officials hoped to keep the supply of edifying reading going for the poorer parishioners, who could not afford to buy books or belong to a subscription library.

Editorial

The Publishers of the “Dawn of Day” write as follows:

“Since our letter of April 10th was circulated, circumstances have arisen in connection with the supply of paper which render it necessary for us to reduce our printing order, from the July issue onwards, by at least 20 per cent.

It naturally follows that we must cut down customers’ supplies to a like extent, and we beg to ask their forbearance for so doing. We are very sorry, and beg to express our apologies to the clergy who localised the magazine. It is a measure forced upon us by the War, and the uncertainty of obtaining regular supplies of paper owing to prevailing conditions.”

The full number of copies of the Wargrave Magazine will be issued, but 20 per cent will in future contain local matter only. Those distributed to the Cottages will as far as possible contain the “Dawn of Day” as hitherto.

Wargrave parish magazine, June 1918 (D/P145/28A/31)