“The fact is War Work occupies all the available time”: Wargrave responds to the National Mission

The National Mission in Wargrave was announced in October 1916 as starting on 19 November:

The National Mission

The Sunday fixed for the Mission Services in Wargrave is November 19th, when the Ven. The Archdeacon of Berkshire will be in charge.

It was a great success, the parish magazine later reported; but would it have long lasting effects?

The National Mission

We have indeed much cause to be thankful. It was a great disappointment when we heard that that Archdeacon Ducat could not come; but that the Rev. George Perry-Gore was able to take his place and on the same day may indeed be taken as a sign of the good hand of our God upon us.

All who attended the Mission desire to unite in tendering their most grateful thanks to our Missioner. We must take counsel before God, each with himself, as to how we can give effect to the message by new resolution to walk with God.

The attendance at the meetings of preparation and at the services of the Mission were good. The weather during the Mission was so very bad that it required a real effort to face it, and many in weak health or at a distance were altogether unable to do so. Those who did come were rewarded.

We must be thankful that the weather was fine for the four Open-Air Services. They were well supported and afforded a simple but impressive witness.

The Men’s Bible Study Circle conducted by Dr. McCrea is full of promise. The method adopted evokes extraordinary interest from those who take part. It will continue on Thursdays at 7:30 in the Parish Room.

It has been found impossible to start a Woman’s Bible Study Circle at the present time although a very capable leader was ready to undertake it. The fact is War Work occupies all the available time among those who would otherwise be glad to join.

Every Mission has three parts. The Preparation; The Message; The response.

We did our best with the Preparation.

The need and intention of the Mission were fully explained, the invitation to hear the Message was conveyed to every house and the exact particulars of time and place were carefully published.
But the real preparation went deeper than this. There was prayer in Church and in our homes. We prayed about the National Mission, asking God’s blessing upon it, that the effort of the Church might make for the advancement of His Kingdom. And we prayed for the Messengers, that God might give them utterance, and fill them with the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We have now had the Message. We have been reminded of our need of Repentance and of our Christian heritage of Hope. We have been told the old old story of God’s Love, of our redemption in Jesus Christ and of our strength for victory in the grace of the Holy Spirit. We have thought about our Christian duties. We have taken counsel about prayer. We have realised that our country needs the best from each of us, and that we are not giving our best unless we have sought for God’s blessing and God’s grace to inform our character and to sanctify our work.

There remains the Response, which is the third part of the Mission. If this is of the right kind it has begin already and it will go on for the rest of our lives.

What is it to be? It will not be exactly the same in any two of us. But it will be the same for us all in that it will mean drawing us closer to God. And it will be the same for us all in that it will mean that our lives will show a clearer witness for Christ. If we make the right kind of response men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. They will see it in our homes, in our work and in our play.

But it must be remembered that God’s message never leaves us in the same position as we were before we heard it. We have had another summons to awake, another reminder of the standard by which alone our lives are judged, another proclamation of our Lord’s Commands. We must not neglect so great salvation.

May our response be such that it may make us more ready to meet the Master when He comes in His Glory and all the Holy Angels with Him, and shall sit upon the throne of His Glory – to take account.

Wargrave parish magazine, October and December 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)

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The greatness of an Empire depends on the moral greatness of its people

Empire Day was an opportunity for schoolchildren across the county to be instructed in patriotic matters.

Wargave: Empire Day at the Piggott Schools

Empire Day was celebrated at the Piggott Schools, on Friday, May 21st. Although rain fell heavily during the early part of the morning, it fortunately cleared off in time for the children, who numbered over 200, with flags flying, to start for Church where a short service was conducted by the Vicar. He delivered an inspiring address founded on the words “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” Eccles. ix, 10, pointing out that God’s help is wanted if our daily life is to be successful and prosperous. On returning to the school play-ground the flag was saluted; the National Anthem and several patriotic songs were sung. In the unavoidable absence of Mr. H. C. Bond who had promised to speak to the children, the Vicar kindly addressed them on “Patriotism and the Empire,” Mr. Coleby proposed a vote of thanks to the Vicar and explained why this year’s celebrations was so much different from that of other years. In the first place the War naturally caused a difference, and, secondly by the vote of the children themselves, the proceeds of their concerts last month were given to the Reading War Hospital Care and Comforts Committee.

The following letter had been received from the Secretary:-

“My dear Children,

I write on behalf of my Committee to thank you very much for the lovely gift which I have received from your Headmaster, and which I understand is really your Empire Day “Tea.” I am quite sure that when Empire Day comes, without the Tea, that you will be even more happy than on other Empire Days; because you will remember that by your action, some of our soldiers who have been wounded while fighting for us, are made more cheerful and comfortable. It is fine to be allowed to do one’s bit, isn’t it?

Gifts of this kind are so great an encouragement to those who are working to obtain comfort for our soldiers.

With best wishes for a happy Empire Day.
I remain,
Yours faithfully,
Stanley H. Hodgkin,
Hon. Secretary.”

Cheers for the King concluded the proceedings.

A bag containing a bun and an orange was given to each child as he left the Schools. (more…)

Praiseworthy interest from a Red Cross class

18 villagers from Knowl Hill signed up to study first aid and basic nursing.

Knowl Hill Red Cross Class
This class consisting of some 18 Members is having a most successful run, and is now nearing the end of the first session, but it is hoped further courses will be taken.

The earlier classes were taken by Mr Butterworth until the Doctor of the class Dr. J. McCrea was able to come, and he gives his last lecture and demonstration on Wednesday, 24th, the examination being the 25th.

The interest among the members of the class is praiseworthy.

The individual practices were carried out on a separate time with the assistance of Miss Lovett, Mrs Firbank, (Secretary) Mr. Butterworth and members of Red Cross from Burchetts Green.

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

A Red Cross class graduates in Knowl Hill

Several residents of Knowl Hill studied first aid and basic healthcare in order to offer their services to the Volunteer Aid Detachments who supplemented fully trained nurses working with the wounded.

Knowl Hill Red Cross Class
We are pleased to announce that the result of the examination in connection with the above class has been very satisfactory.
Twelve members, out of the 15 entered, receiving certificates enabling them to become members of the Volunteer Aid Detachment and it is believed that some will make use of the same.

The Certificates were presented on Friday, the 16th, by Dr. and Mrs. McCrea. A surprise Whist Party and Presentation was held when several friends were present, including the Vicar. Several presentations took place from the members of the class. Mrs. Firbank was the recipient of a handbag, for work as a secretary, etc. and Mr. Butterworth a surgical haversack for work in connection with the class and bandaging, etc., and Mr. Rufey who did the extra cleaning, etc., free, with a walking stick. The members of the Burchetts Green Red Cross Society were thanked for their valuable assistance. In making presentations, Dr. McCrea spoke of the work done by various ones mentioned, which had relieved him considerably and hoped the class would continue.
Mrs. McCrea was presented with a bouquet at the commencement of proceedings.

The Vicar proposed, and Mrs. Firbank seconded, a vote of thanks to Dr. and Mrs. McCrea, to which the Doctor responded.

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