“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)

An “exhibition of heartless callousness on the part of race-goers at this present crisis”

Churchgoers thought the continuance of horse racing during the war was unpatriotic.

THE BISHOP’S MESSAGE

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

Your prayers are asked specially
For the preparation of the National Mission…
For the maintenance of the unity of the nation.
For victory in the war, and peace.
For wisdom in dealing with the conscientious objectors….

RACE MEETINGS DURING THE WAR

The following resolution was passed unanimously by the Sonning deanery. A great deal of indignation was felt and expressed at the motor traffic on the Bath Road during the Newbury Races:

“That this meeting of clergy, laymen, and laywomen, representatives of parishes in the Sonning deanery, in the diocese of Oxford, protests against the exhibition of heartless callousness on the part of race-goers at this present crisis, and calls upon His Majesty’s Government to reconsider the question of racing during war-time; and urges all earnest churchpeople to strive to show a spirit of self-sacrifice at this time.”

WAR MEMORIALS

I feel sure that a great many clergy, churchwardens and others would wish for advice about proposed war memorials as time goes on. Accordingly, I have asked the following (their number will probably be slightly increased) to act as a consultative committee:
Canon Ottley, Canon Herbert Barnett, the Revs. F J Brown, Sydney Cooper, W C Emeris and E J Norris, Mr F N A Garry, and Mr F C Eeles. Anyone wanting the help of this committee should write to the Rev. W C Emeris, the Vicarage, Burford, Oxon.

C OXON

Earley St Peter parish magazine, June 1916 (D/P191/28A/31/6)