Released after over four years’ service in the Army

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners

As regards coming events, … above all the Welcome to Returned Sailors and Soldiers, and their wives (both in the same place), organised by the CEMS, will, I hope, be favoured by good weather and large musters…

Lastly, I hope to be away for two or three weeks in June. I should have gone later, but my brother, who is released after over four years’ service in the Army, specially wants me to go with him to Scotland. This makes, I feel, a special occasion where family claims must be considered.

If I have to miss important meetings, this is my excuse.

In any case, with Mr King Gill and Mr Thurland in charge, I know that everything will go on splendidly…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, June 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

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The first claim upon our offerings before even War Memorials

Parochial Church Councils, still the central meeting for all Anglican churches, were a post-war innovation.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners…

On Easter Tuesday [22 April] at 8 pm the Easter Vestry will be held in the Parish Room at the Vicarage; it will be followed immediately by the Easter Meeting of Parochial Church Electors. I hope for a very good muster at the Meeting, as if enough support is given, we hope to start a Parochial Church Council for this Parish. The Councillors would have to be Communicants, the Electors have to be confirmed and eligible for Holy Communion. If we decide, now our Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen are many of them home again, to form such a Council, the Election would probably be held at a later date, probably early in May. The Council, like the Sub-Council or Church Committee at St Paul’s, would probably consist of men and women in equal numbers, but the Clergy and Churchwardens would sit ex-officio. It has been suggested that it might be a good thing if the various Church organisations were asked to nominate Candidates. For example, the Choir, Sidesmen, CEMS, Mothers’ Union, Sunday School Teachers, etc, might propose names. In this way we should get a Council that, while we hope it would still be ornamental, would also be useful. Please think this plan over.

Lastly, may I press on you the urgent need of supporting the Free-Will Offering Fund for the maintenance of the Assistant Clergy. We have (may I say what they cannot say?) most earnest and capable shepherds and priests in Mr King-Gill and Mr Thurland; but quite apart from any question of personal excellences, the first claim upon our offerings before even War Memorials or Parish Organisations is the proper support of the Ministry. I try to do what I can personally, sometimes I have to do rather more than I can afford. May I, therefore, with clean hands, urge upon every Communicant and regular worshipper the need, not so much of a large as a regular contribution to the Free-Will Offering Funds…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar,

C E M Fry

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, April 1919 (D/P181/28A/28)

Four years and four months of desperate warfare manfully endured rewarded by a victorious Armistice

The vicar of a Maidenhead church was among those who had suffered from the international influenza epidemic.

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

ALAS! for the first time I have to apologize for a late Magazine; but the “Flu” must be my all sufficient excuse. It is indeed, a time of difficulty just now, so many households have illness, and many have to mourn losses; to all these our hearts go out in sympathy. But overshadowing all this is the feeling of a load having been lifted from the mind and heart of the whole Nation on St. Martin’s Day (November 11th). Four years and four months of desperate warfare manfully endured rewarded by a victorious Armistice, to lead, as we all pray, next Spring to a just and abiding Peace. The Civic Service, acknowledging the Nation’s gratitude to Almighty God, held before the Town Hall, was well attended, and I am told by all who heard it how deeply they were stirred by Mr. King-Gill’s Adress. On the same night (Wednesday) full congregations returned our thanks as a Parish to God in St. Luke’s and St. Peter’s…

Then, I have been asked by the Mayoress and Mrs Gardner to remind parishioners of the Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops. These fit crippled sailors and soldiers for earning their living in an independent way. Envelopes will be delivered at all houses, and collected at Christmastide by Boy Scouts. We all hope they may be well filled.

Finally, as regards a Thankoffering by the parish. Many friends have asked me what we mean to do to mark our gratitude for Peace and Victory. I feel that it is almost too early to settle that yet, until Peace is actually signed, or nearer than it is, as yet. Next year, I hope to call a Parish gathering to discuss what form our memorial of the gallant dead, and of the self sacrifice of those who survive, should take. But this year some people feel they would like to give something at once. It has been suggested, and the Churchwardens and I have agreed, that the Christmas Collections should, after deducting £10 at St Luke’s for the Sunday School, and £2 10s at St Peter’s, be given towards the Endowment Fund we are trying to raise to help to maintain the Assistant Clergy…

Lastly, I would ask your prayers for those called on, as Electors, to choose Members of Parliament, and for the New Parliament itself, that all things may be ordered “to the glory of God, the good of the Church, the safety, honour, and welfare, of our Sovereign and his Dominions.”

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar

C.E.M. FRY

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

We shall be very glad when Peace comes and things return to their normal conditions

The curate at Maidenhead St Luke was going to become an army chaplain, while the organist was too busy working in a munitions factory to rehearse the choir.

The Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,-

This November again brings us the Confirmation. I hope all are remembering in their prayers those who are preparing for Confirmation. It should be one of the great turning points in a boy’s or girl’s, or man’s or woman’s, life. Just now, with all the concomitant disturbance and upheaval of the War, it is difficult for any, old or young, to find much time for quiet, and the making of great resolves. All the more honour is due, and the more help should be given, to those who have the courage to try and serve God in this way. I hope that all god-parents, parents and friends of the Candidates, who can possibly be present, will attend the Confirmation on Sunday, November 25th, at 3.30 pm.

Alas! after the Confirmation, we are to lose Mr. Sellors, who has been posted as an Army Chaplain from November 26th, though his actual departure may be a little later. We cannot grudge him his War Service; but I am sure that on behalf of the whole parish I ought to say how much he has endeared himself to us all since he first came among us in June, 1916… We pray God he may return safe, to work among us again, if the War do not last too long, or, if it do, to visit us before he shall take up work in the Foreign Mission Field.

There has been some re-arrangement in the matter of the Musical Services at St. Luke’s, temporarily owing to the War.

The ever-growing claims of Munitions now prevents Mr. Garrett Cox from taking the Friday night practices of the Choir. He can still play on Sundays, except on some evenings.

Mr. King-Gill has kindly undertaken to act as Choir-Master and Precentor for the time being, and I am sure in his hands the Choir will maintain its reputation for good and reverent singing. Mr. Sinkins is most generously helping us on those Sunday nights when Mr. Garrett Cox is away, and at other times, too. And we are still fortunate in getting help from Mr. Snow and Mr. Goolden, and occasionally from Mr. Chavasse and Mr. Sellors.

I feel that a word of public thanks is also due to Mr Chas King for the great help he gave us in Choir training while Mr Garrett Cox had to be making shells; we all much appreciate the work he did for us. We shall, of course, be very glad when Peace comes and things return to their normal conditions, but thanks to our many good friends we have done wonderfully well at St Luke’s in a very trying time…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar

C.E.M. FRY

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