“Every war memorial should be worthy of the occasion and permanent in character.”

The Bishop issued some guidance as to suitable war memorials in Berkshire churches.

War Memorials

My dear Sir,

I commend to your notice the enclosed suggestions which have been drawn up by the Advisory Committee for War Memorials in this Diocese. Experience has already shown that it is most desirable that local effort should be concentrated on one common Memorial. It is also important to consider carefully the nature of any proposal made, and to obtain competent advice, if possible on the spot, so that every memorial should be worthy of the occasion and permanent in character. To obtain satisfactory results, some delay and great care are imperative. This I sincerely hope that, before determining upon any memorial, you will consult the Advisory Committee. The Secretary is the Rev. William C. Emeris, The Vicarage, Burford, Oxon.
Believe me to be, yours faithfully, C. Oxon.

The Advisory Committee for War Memorials in the Oxford Diocese desires to make the following suggestions.

(1) Advice should be sought when a Memorial is first proposed, and before the question of the form it should take is decided.

(2) The Committee urges the importance of concentrating upon one common design and the avoidance, if possible, of several small Memorials. The best and most permanent Memorial is that which best harmonizes with the building or surroundings in which it is placed. It is not intended to exclude separate Memorials erected under one common scheme, e.g., the fitting up of a chapel.

(3) The erection of a united Memorial should be postponed until the end of the war, though it may be of importance to decide beforehand what form it should take.

(4) The character of the Church (e.g., whether ancient or modern, whether of stone or brick) should be taken into consideration before deciding upon the best form of Memorial. In old Churches preference should be given to the replacing of the ancient ornaments of the Church, rather than to the erection of new monuments. As instances the following are suggested: the restoration of altars to their original dimensions, the re-erection of screens, both chancel and parclose, of roods and lots, canopied font covers, good bells, worthy “ornaments of the Church and of the ministers thereof”, such as the Prayer Book contemplates, and Churchyard Crosses.

(5) Local materials should in most cases be preferred to those brought from a distance. Lacquered brass or copper ornaments are deprecated, also designs submitted by Church furnishing firms.

(6) Special attention should be given to lettering. Roman characters should be preferred to Gothic. It is important to choose such material and lettering as will last for many hundred years. Quality, simplicity and permanence should be the guiding principles in carrying out the work.

(7) Where it is proposed to place the chief memorial in the open air, it is advisable that a record of names should also be preserved within the Church, engrossed on Vellum, in book form or otherwise.

(8) Even for the simplest ornaments of the Church and Minister it is desirable that the services of an architect or artist, and not a firm of Church Furnishers, should be employed. The Church Crafts League, Church House, Westminster, is always ready to suggest names of competent artists and craftsmen.

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

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During the war we all have to make ourselves responsible for more than we could rightly undertake in time of peace

The new vicar of Wargrave took on a new role as school inspector for church schools, mainly because his ownership of a horse meant he had transport denied to others.

Diocesan Inspection

There is one General Diocesan Inspector in this diocese who gives his whole time to the work, but the area of the three counties is so large that he can only visit one in each year. He is therefore assisted in each Deanery by an Honorary Inspector, appointed by the Bishop, who examines the Schools in two out of every three years.

The Vicar resigned this office when he left the parish of Medmenham in the Deanery of Wycombe. He has been asked to resume it in this Deanery. There are twenty-six schools to be inspected in the sixteen parishes of this Sonning Deanery. Somebody must do the work and it requires somebody with a horse, (even motor cars cannot run without petrol). So the Vicar has felt that it would not be right to decline. It is very congenial work, but acceptance of any additional task seems to require a word of explanation when we are shorthanded here and the things already left undone are evidence that the Vicar has no time to spare.

The fact is that during the war we all have to make ourselves responsible for more than we could rightly undertake in time of peace. And if we happen to have experience which makes a particular task lighter than it would be to a new hand it is not fair to decline it, unless it is an absolute impossibility. This work is done in the morning in the Schools and late at night at home so it will not much interfere with parochial visiting.

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

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

The Bishop of Oxford had special instructions for the Day of National Prayer.

THE BISHOP’S MESSAGE

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

Your prayers are specially asked:

That the nation as a whole may respond to the King’s summons to prayer on Jan. 6th.
For this nation and for our Allies, especially for Italy, Russia, Serbia and Roumania, and for Ireland.
For victory and peace.
For the munition worked, especially in our diocese.
For the wounded soldiers.
For those whom we have sent to minister to our troops in soul and body….

THE DAY OF NATIONAL PRAYER (JAN. 6)

I could have wished that the last Sunday of the year could have been appointed and not the Festival of the Epiphany. But Jan. 6 is appointed, and we must respond zealously to the King’s summons. Of course the proper Service of Epiphany must be retained, but

(i) At the Holy Communion, the collect, O God, the Ruler of all kings and people, should be said before the Blessing, and at the offertory the people should be bidden to pray according to the needs of the time for the nation and its allies with some fulness [sic].

(ii) In the Litany I sanction (for this special occasion) the substitution for the words ‘the Lords of the Council and all the nobility’, the words ‘the prime minister, the other ministers of the Crown, and all who hold command in the King’s forces’, and after the versicle ‘that it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people’, the additional versicles, ‘that it may please thee to enlighten the understanding and to fortify the courage of our whole nation and Empire’, and ‘that it may please thee to grant thy blessing to all our allies and to defend and restore their lands’. (This change and these added versicles might be printed on slips for the congregation or notified before the beginning of the Litany.)

(iii) The sermons should bring out the idea of the Epiphany as the manifestation of God among all nations, show how deeply we stand in need of such a manifestation today, and impress upon the people that 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 preparation for the kingdom of Christ, for which our most earnest and constant prayers are needed. The King’s proclamation should also be read. (It was in the newspapers on Nov. 8th.)

(iv) I would suggest that if there is a celebration of Holy Communion at 11, it be preceded by the Litany with the special versicles; and if the service at 11 is commonly morning prayer, that on this occasion (morning prayer having been already said in full at an earlier hour) there should be a special service which might run thus:

Hymn – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed.
Sermon to guide the thoughts and prayers of the day.
The Litany as above.
(Before the prayer of St Chrysostom) Psalms 46 and 72
A lesson, Isaiah xi to verse 11.

The parish roll of men serving their country should be read, and additional intercessions (such as are not included in the Litany) offered with spaces for silent prayer. One or two other hymns might be interspersed, and the concluding prayers of the Litany said.

(v) Evensong might be said up to the third collect (Psalms 46 and 72), followed by a sermon and special intercessions. Of suggestions for intercessions we have a sufficient store.

If a special form of prayer is issued with the authority of the Archbishops for the whole country, it is sanctioned for use in the diocese, and will modify the above directions.

C. OXON

Earley St Peter parish magazine, December 1917 (D/P191/28A/24)

A remarkable fact during the third year of war

The cause of Christian missions suffered from the war’s calls on the public’s generosity.

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts:
Diocese of Oxford:
An Urgent Appeal

The Society is constrained by force of circumstance to ask this year for an increase of £35,000 over its income in 1916.

The need for the Appeal

In the Mission Field, as at home, money does not go so far as it did. This additional £35,000 is not required for any fresh developments but for the maintenance of existing work only.

To reduce the grants for 1918, without previous warning and in the face of remarkable self-sacrifice on the part of workers in all parts of the Mission field, would, humanly speaking, be disastrous. It would mean the with-drawal of Christian workers who are planting all over the world true civilisations grounded in the Christian Faith, and the closing of Mission Stations. It would mean undoing the work of years of devoted labour. It would probably mean that in the eyes of non-Christians the Gospel cause must be waning.

Such a step is unthinkable, and for 1918 the Society has pledged itself not to reduce its grants. It looks to its supporters to enable it to keep its pledge.

The amount required is small indeed compared with the immense sums that are being so generously and splendidly subscribed to War Funds. Let those who realise the extreme importance of the Missionary work of Church overseas see to it that the permanent work of the Church of God is not maimed in these years of stress, for the want of these few thousands.

The Missionaries are doing their part nobly. In one diocese, for instance, the Missionaries supported by the Society are setting a fine example by putting aside 5 percent of their small stipends to form an “Emergency Fund” in case the Society should be unable to keep its pledges.

Of the additional £35,000 to be raised, the share of this diocese (based on the last five years’ average contributions to the General Fund) is £1,433.


How is this Appeal to be Met?

The Oxford Diocesan S.P.G. Committee appeals at once for an additional sum of £500 for the General Fund towards this amount.

A resident in the diocese has offered to give £5 if 99 other gifts of £5 are contributed before the end of the year. It has been suggested in addition to personal gifts of £5 it may be possible for Rural Deaneries or parishes to contribute one or more sums of £5 over and above the contributions in 1916.

Apart from this “challenge” Ruri-decanal and parochial secretaries are earnestly requested to use every effort to obtain new subscribers; and all Incorporated Members, Members, and supporters of the Society are asked to increase, if possible, their contributions this year.

The Diocese of Oxford last year raised more money for the Society through parochial channels than ever before. That is surely a remarkable fact during the third year of war! It shoes that the tide of the missionary spirit is still rising and is of good omen for the present year. A little more and the worst strain will be over.

Contributions should be sent to Miss Porter, Ouseleys, Wargrave.


Wargrave parish magazine, November 1917 (D/P145/28A/31)

“This must be done before the war is over and the war-work dropped”

The Church of England hoped to use the groundswell of voluntary work supporting the war effort as a springboard for religious purposes at a later date.

OXFORD DIOCESAN BOARD OF MISSIONS

The autumn effort in relation to the war.

In some ways this is a bad time for a Missionary Effort, but not in all ways. In order to point out one advantage of making the Effort before the end of the war the Executive Committee has unanimously passed the following Resolution:

The main aim of the Autumn Missionary Effort must be so to influence members of the Church that the services they are now rendering to King and Country (in prayer, gifts and in personal work), shall after the war be as far as possible conserved and transformed to service for the extension of God’s Kingdom.”

ILLUSTRATIONS

1. Prayer. One Deanery has already decided that War Intercession Services shall be continued after the war as Intercession Services on behalf of the Church Overseas.

2. Gifts. Regular or occasional subscriptions to war Funds (Red Cross, Belgian Relief, etc, would naturally cease after the war. The Autumn effort should encourage resolutions to continue such subscriptions (in part at least) after the war, for the unceasing frontier warfare of the Church.

3. Personal Service. Not a few Territorials in India who have visited Missions there, mean after the war to give themselves to missionary work. In some cases Red Cross and other Working Parties have already decided to continue to meet after the war, in support of Medical Missions. How many of our Nurses might put their trained experience at the disposal of Medical Missions!

The opportunity is great. If quite a small fraction of the voluntary war-work now being done were by-and-by transferred to the cause of Missions, the help given to the Church overseas would be multiplied many times!

Would it not be well for the parochial clergy earnestly to consider how best to bring this thought before each of their parishioners? Only this must be done before the war is over and the war-work dropped.

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, October 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

The spiritual welfare of those who are so ready to give their lives in the great cause

Reading churchgoers were asked to contribute towards the cost of building a chapel at the closest army camp.

The Vicar’s Notes
Best greetings and blessings to all the parish for the New Year. There seem to be real signs at last of the prospect of peace. God grant that, when it comes, it may be real and lasting.

The Following Appeal comes from the Bishop of Buckingham.

Halton Camp.

With the approach of winter the problem of holding the church parade Services for this large camp has become acute. The accommodation provided by the Churches in the immediate neighbourhood, and by the Y.M.C.A. huts (which are readily lent for the purpose, and which are doing such excellent work), is quite insufficient for the purpose. With the present accommodation it would require many more parades than are possible every Sunday to take in all the troops attending Church.

It is proposed therefore to erect a large wooden building capable of holding 1,000 to 1,500 men, such has been found suitable in other large camps. The primary objective would be to make provision for the Church services during the winter, but the building would also be available for other purposes. It is estimated that the cost of such a building would be £1,000. Voluntary help would be given by qualified architects among the troops and Royal Engineers.

This is the only large camp in the Diocese of Oxford, and we feel that the Church people of the Diocese will be desirous of showing their interest in the spiritual welfare of those who are so ready to give their lives in the great cause by making by making a prompt and adequate answer to this appeal. It is most desirable that the matter should be put in hand at once, before the severe weather sets in.

The scheme has the hearty approval of the General Officer Commanding and the Bishop of Oxford and the Bishop of Buckingham.

Subscriptions will be thankfully received by the Senior Chaplain, the Rev. P.W.N. Shirley, Halton Camp, Bucks, or by the Bishop of Buckingham, Beaconsfield.

Sympathy

During the past month there has been an exceptional amount of sickness and a large number of deaths. Our deepest sympathy is given to all those who have suffered the loss of those near and dear to them. May the divine comforter bring them every consolation and support in their time of sorrow.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, January 1917 (D/P96/28A/15)

Changed lives

The parish of Sulhamstead prepared for the National Mission.

THE WAR

The solemn self-searching period which has been the call to the nations of the world is approaching its climax in this country in the movement which we call the National Mission.

Our sailors and soldiers have not only shown themselves devoted to their country and to the defence of our shores and ourselves, but are not afraid, we are told, to speak of changed lives and a drawing near to God.

We at home must seek from God the power to rise to new heights so that we may be worthy of their sacrifice and provide for them on their return home that will sustain their spirit of devotion to duty and service to God.

By the time this has reached the majority in this parish, our special services will have begun by a sermon on the morning of October 1st, by the Rev. Canon Hurt, Rector of Bradfield. Full particulars have been printed and circulated.

Our Diocesan Bishop has written a very striking and stirring letter, which has been sent to all incumbents and has been printed in the Diocesan Magazine. The newspaper press has commented upon it, and quoted it. It has now been reprinted for public circulation and it is trusted that all in the parish who have received a copy will thoughtfully, carefully and prayerfully read it.

Sulhamstead parish magazine, October 1916 (D/EX725/3)

“It is our serious duty to keep the fabric of our civilization and our religion going through the time of war”

The demands of the war meant there was less money to spare for churches and charities. the Diocese of Oxford appealed not to be forgotten.

The Oxford Diocesan Fund:

The Diocese is asked to give £4,420 (which is almost the same sum as last year) for the diocesan needs, in addition to the interest received on the invested funds of the various Societies and annual subscriptions paid direct to the Diocesan Treasurer.

Of course we are well aware how great is the demand which the war taxes are making and will make upon incomes, and also how many urgent claims the war is making for voluntary contributions. But at the same time the war is teaching us, more fully that we ever learnt it before, the meaning of sacrifice, and it is probably that we are all more ready to give than we were two years ago.

Besides supporting the war, it is our serious duty to keep the fabric of our civilization and our religion going through the time of war, so that no needless impoverishment of our common life may result from it.

The Rural Deaneries have by their representatives accepted the apportionment, and we hope that the parishes will accept each its share, to be raised by collections in Church or by other means: and we trust as well that our friends will keep up their subscriptions, so that the various Diocesan Societies may be able to carry on their work without any serious curtailment.

It will greatly assist the Treasurer, if the collections are made and forwarded to him as soon as possible and in any case before November 30th.
Signed on behalf of the Diocesan Board,
C. OXON: President
W. H. AMES, Hon. Treasurer
HENRY E. TROTTER, Hon. Secretary.

The Parish of Wargrave is asked to give £21. 5s. 1d. Last year the sum was duly raised. All collections on Sunday, September 24th, will be given to this object.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

Girls need lodgings in towns while doing war work

Young women who had joined the workforce under war conditions needed somewhere safe to live.

In these days when girls need lodgings in towns while doing war work of various kinds it is well to bring before them the advantages offered by the “Girls’ Friendly Society” Lodges in the Diocese.
With the Lady Superintendents always at hand in case of little ailments or worries and other girls for company, a “Lodge” is more cheerful than solitary lodgings. Food too, can be better and more varied with a large number to cater for.

The Diocesan Lodges have charming gardens.

Those who do not belong to the Society need a reference and a charged a little more than members of the G.F.S.

The necessity for special training in various trades and professions, is well understood: it is now becoming recognised that this is also needed for domestic service. Girls can obtain this training at the Lodges.

Terms can be had by sending a stamped envelope to the Lady Superintendents :- G.F.S. Lodge, 63, St. Giles, Oxford; Berks G.F.S. Lodge, 62, London Street, Reading; Alma Cottage, Speen, Newbury.

Winkfield District Magazine, August 1916 (D/P151/28A/8/8)

Save sixpences for the war

Young women in Reading were encouraged to support the war financially.

WAR SAVINGS
A War Savings Association has been formed by the Reading branch of the GFS affiliated to our Diocese. The object is to help members and others (for it is not limited to GFS members) to save sixpences, and to buy War Savings Certificates. Miss Wilkinson, 15, Victoria Square, is the Local Collector for our parish branch, and she will be pleased to give any information about the Association.

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

Lodgings for girls doing war work

Young women were increasingly engaged in war work, as nurses or on munitions factories. Many of them ended up a long way from home, and the Girls’ Friendly Society, an existing charity aimed at helping working class girls, was the ideal organisation to help.

G.F.S.

In these days when girls need lodgings in Towns while doing War work of various kinds, it is well to bring before them the advantages offered by the “Girls’ Friendly Society” Lodges in the Diocese.

With the Lady Superintendent always at hand, in case of little ailments and worries, and other girls for company, a “Lodge” is more cheerful than solitary lodgings. Food, too, can be better and more varied with a larger number to cater for.

The Diocesan Lodges have charming gardens. Those who do not belong to the Society need a reference, and are charged a little more than Members of the G.F.S.

The necessity for special training, in various trades and professions, is well understood: It is now becoming recognised that this is also needed for domestic service. Girls can obtain this training at the Lodges.

Terms can be had by sending a stamped envelope to the Lady Superintendents-

G.F.S. Lodge, Berks. G.F.S. Lodge,
63, St Giles’ 62, London Street,
Oxford. Reading.
Alma Cottage,
Speen,
Newbury.

Wargrave parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P145/28A/31); and Earley parish magazine, June (D/P191/28A/31/6)

The nation must return to God, to support soldiers coming home

Across the country, the Church of England was planning a National Mission to rally the nation in this difficult time. The Bishop of Oxford wrote to his clergy, in a letter published in the Wargrave parish magazine.

The Bishop in a letter to his Clergy, dated February 12th, 1916, writes:

It has been decided by the Archbishops, with the general consent of the Bishops, that there shall be held in October or November this year ‘A National Mission of Repentance and Hope’, which will doubtless be commonly called the ‘National Mission’.

What concerns the method of the mission and its details will in the main be left to each diocese and parish to determine. We shall all need to be adaptable, and we shall need some adventurous courage. But it is desired that the plan of each diocese and parish should conform to this outline:- that the earlier part of this year should be given to preparing spiritually the Clergy and the faithful Church people, men and women; and that the final effort of the prepared Church should be in October or November next, and should be devoted to the awakening to the call of God of all that great body of people who, with more or less reality of allegiance, belong to the Church. The Mission will be purely a Church Mission to those who belong to us. But it is anticipated that a similar effort will be made at the same time by other bodies of Christians.

We all feel deeply the need of a return to God on the part of the Nation, the need of a deep national repentance if the prayers of the Nation are to be heard. We feel that there must be a new spirit of reverence and sympathy in our towns and villages if the returning soldiers are to be welcomed home with the sort of welcome which is likely to keep alive in them whatever good resolutions they have formed in their hours of peril. And, as concerns our Church-goers, we recognise to the full the need of conversion of for the mass of our Church people, and of a quite new desire to understand the faith and to seek the Sacraments.

In special preparation for this Mission the Bishop has summoned all his Clergy to a solemn time of spiritual retirement from July 31st to August 4th, to be spent at Radley or Bradfield, and he begs them to exhort their people in Lent and to guide them in prayer and penitence, that the coming season may be a great time of spiritual recovery in every parish.

Wargrave parish church magazine, March 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

A special effort to provide huts for army chaplains

Church of England men in Reading were keen to help finance the work of army chaplains at the Front.

CHAPLAINS’ HUTS
The CEMS is making a special effort to provide huts for the Chaplains at the front. The Reading Federation is endeavouring to supply one of them. It is not intended that all the money shall come from the members of the society; hence in addition to giving themselves, members are asked to approach churchmen and women with a view to helping them in this matter. Our own branch is desirous of taking its full share. The members are holding a meeting about it and will arrive at some method of doing so, probably by personal canvas. The hut will bear the title of the Reading Diocesan Hut.

Reading St. John Parish Magazine, January 1916 (D/P172/28A/24)

Wargrave supports a Diocesan Hut

Wargrave joined the Diocese of Oxford in aiding spiritual support for the soldiers at the Front.

Church Army Huts

There is abundant testimony to the value of the work done by the Church Army for the Soldiers at the Front and several efforts are being made in the Diocese to help it.

Canon Barnett, Vicar of Stoke Poges is Hon. Treasurer for a fund to supply an “Oxford Diocesan Hut,” in France. The cost is £400. The Bishop has opened the list with £10.

The Church of England Men’s Society is doing its best to raise money or Chaplain’s Huts, all of which will be under the Church Army. The Wargrave Branch has undertaken to do its share and all the members have made themselves responsible for Collecting Cards.

Wargrave parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

Keep the fabric of civilisation going through the war

The war and its demands on British purses was inevitably affecting giving to other causes. The Bishop of Oxford made an apeal

The Oxford Diocesan Fund: The Appeal for 1915

The Diocese is asked to give the same sum as last year for the diocesan needs, i.e., £4,400, in addition to the interest received on the invested funds of the various Societies and annual subscriptions.

Of course we are well aware how great is the demand which the war taxes are making and will make upon incomes, and also how many urgent claims the war is making for voluntary contributions. But at the same time the war is teaching us more fully than we ever learnt it before the meaning of sacrifice, and it is probable that we are all more ready to give than we were a year ago.

Besides supporting the war, it is our serious duty to keep the fabric of our civilization and our religion going through the time of war, so that no needless impoverishment of our common life may result from it.

Therefore it is that we make bold to ask the Rural Deaneries to accept the same apportionment as last year, and we hope that the parishes will accept its share, to be raised by collections in Church or by other means: and we trust as well that our friends will keep up their subscriptions, so that the various Diocesan Societies may be able to carry on their work without any serious curtailment.

It will greatly assist the Treasurer, if the collections are made and forwarded to him as soon as possible and in any case before November 30th.

Signed on behalf of the Diocesan Board.
C. Oxon, President.
W.H. Ames, Hon. Treasurer.
Henry E. Trotter, Hon. Secretary.

The collections at Mattins and Evensong on Sunday, September 12th, will be given to this Fund. A budget is carefully prepared for the needs of the whole Diocese and each Deanery is asked to raise a certain amount towards it. The amount required from the Deanery is divided fairly among the parishes by a local Committee and WARGRAVE IS ASKED TO CONTRIBUTE £19 3s. 8d.

Last year we fell short of the amount asked from us, it is much to b hoped that we may provide our full quota for 1915. Those who are unable to attend Church on September 10th are invited to send their contributions to the Vicar or Churchwardens.

We are an Episcopal Church and this Fund is the one means through which we can recognise the financial claims of the Diocese to which we belong.

The Fund helps to train men for the ministry; it helps large and poor parishes to support their Clergy; it helps to improve poor livings; it helps to build and restore Churches; it helps to build and improve Church Day Schools; it helps to provide mission clergy and rescue and temperance workers in the Diocese.

Wargrave parish magazine, September 1915 (D/P145/28A/31)