Help to hasten the arrival of a victorious peace!

Maidenhead people were asked to support the troops in prayer and with their savings.

Vicar’s Letter

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

… Our new War Shrine (temporary) is now erected in the Church. I hope many who pass by will enter to say a prayer from time to time in that quiet corner, for those in danger for our sakes, or to honour the memory of our gallant dead. If anyone would like to give a desk or rail to kneel against, they should communicate with Mr. Hazeldine, 5, College Rise, the hon. sec. of the C.E.M.S., the Society to whose generosity the Shrine is mainly due, or with myself as Vicar…

I remain, Your faithful friend and Vicar

C.E.M. FRY


St Luke’s War Saving Association

Miss Garratt, hon. sec., attends at the National School, East Street, from 7 to 8 p.m. every Monday, to receive deposits of 6d. and upwards to buy War Saving Certificates. Come in numbers, and help to hasten the arrival of a victorious peace!

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

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Pray for God’s blessing on our cause and gallant men

Children and adults in Maidenhead were urged to pop in to the church in spare moments to pray for the troops.

War Shrine

On Whit-Sunday, May 27th, the beautiful little War Shrine presented and fixed by the St. Luke’s Branch of the C.E.M.S and one or two friends, was dedicated and unveiled by the Vicar at the Children’s Service…

It is hoped that many who pass by the Church will slip in, if but for two minutes and pray for God’s blessing on our cause and gallant men. The names of the Fallen are well and clearly written up by Mr. Habbin.

Any additions or corrections should be sent either to the Hon. Sec., Mr. E. Hazeldine, 5, College Rise, or to Mr. Habbin, 2 Fairford Road.

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

“Our purpose that we may be worthy of you and help to make England ‘God’s own Country’ when you come home”

Winkfield remembered its soldiers at Easter.

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

In writing briefly to wish you all a happy Easter, there is I feel sure but little need to ask you not to forget our Soldiers and Sailors in prayer on Easter Day. I am sending men from our parish an Easter card with the assurance that we at the old Church at home shall be praying for them at our Easter Communion, and with the following message:

“We send you this card to remind you of the Easter flowers at Home, of our love and prayers for you in your great sacrifice for us, of our purpose that we may be worthy of you and help to make England ‘God’s own Country’ when you come home. Will you join with us on Easter Day in thanking God that He sent His Son to suffer and die that He might open the Gate of Life to all who trust in His Great Sacrifice for them, and that He lives to be our ever present Friend.”

The celebration of the Holy Communion on Easter Day will be at 6, 8.15, and midday at the parish Church, and at 7 at S. Mary the Less, and the names of our men at the Front will be mentioned at all these Services.
Your sincere Friend and Vicar,
H. M. MAYNARD

With sorrow we have to record this month another addition to our Roll of Honour, for Private Edward Holloway of the 6th Royal Berks Regiment died of wounds received in action on February 23rd. A memorial service was held at S. Mary the Less on March 4th, when there was a large congregation, full of sympathy for his young widow and his bereaved parents who have three other sons now at the Front.

Private Edward Fancourt has joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry, and Private Cecil Brant the Cyclist Corps of the 11th Berks Yeomanry.

Private Henry Clayton, who recently joined the 2nd Hants Regiment, has now gone out to the Front.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, April 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/4)

“It is ours now to put courage into fainting men”

Members of Maidenhead Congregational Church were challenged to join the National Service Scheme, but not to neglect their faith.

“God bless our native land,
May Heaven’s protecting hand
Still guard her shore;
May peace her sway extend,
Foe be transformed to friend,
And Britain’s power depend
On wars no more.”

NATIONAL SERVICE.

The days are upon us when we must prove to the utmost what manner of people we are. In fighting force, in food growing, in economy, in patience, in faith, in prayer, we are called upon to put forth our strength. There are not many more who can be summoned to the Army ranks, but there are some still who can serve in other ways. The Director of National Service is calling for volunteers, asking us

“to offer our services to our country, perhaps only for a few months, until Victory is secured. We are not called upon to fight, but to set free men who can fight, and to help them to the end of our powers. It may – and in most cases will – amount to no more than going on with our own usual work, working with all our might and avoiding all waste and extravagance. It may be that in cases of urgent necessity we are asked to work at some place away from our own homes- a trifling disadvantage, a tiny sacrifice compared with that of the soldier and sailor.”

No doubt many of us will give heed to this call, and consider whether we cannot serve the National cause in some new way. But we can all increase the National efficiency by putting fresh reality into our Christian and Church life. The pressure of things makes attendance at week-night meetings, and even at Sunday Services, less possible for some. But it ought not to follow that our Church vitality and working force is less.

We can be more earnest and intense, making the utmost of our lessened opportunities. We can test more fully the efficacy of prayer. We shall assuredly not help the country by letting the fire of our religion become dim, while we are attending to material things. Religion is no waste of time. It is ours now to put courage into fainting men, to console the sorrowing, to teach men to fix their hearts upon God. If ever the Ministry of the Church were of value, it is now, when tired souls are fainting; it is ours to turn the thoughts of men to Him who rules over all lands and seas, and who can make even sorrow a ministering angel of His love.

Maidenhead Congregational Church magazine, April 1917 (D/N33/12/1/5)

“Remember those in tasks of peril by land and sea, in the air and beneath the water”

During Lent, the parish of Wargrave called for daily prayers for the war.

Lent Services

Daily Mattins 8 a.m. Evensong 5 .p.m.

A Bell will ring at Noon to remind everyone that the hour is observed for prayer in this time of War. There is no Service in the Church, but all who hear it are asked to pause for a few moments in their work, to remember those who are engaged in tasks of peril by land and sea, in the air and beneath the water, and to ask God to bless them.

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

A children’s corner

Many children worried about the safety of their father or older brother at the front. St John’s and St Stephen’s Churches in Reading made them a special place for prayer.

CHILDREN’S CORNER

It has become the custom in many churches in London and elsewhere since the war to reserve a corner of the building during the week for the use of the children that they may go in quietly to say their prayers and to pray for their fathers or brothers at the front. It is difficult for many of them to find a quiet place in their homes secure from interruptions by elder and younger members of the family and there is no spot so suitable or so devotional as their Father’s House of Prayer.

So it has been decided to invite our children to make the south aisle in both our churches their own, and to use it for prayer on their way to or from school. This side is chosen as being in each case the nearest to the door which is always kept open during the week, therefore the children will know where to go without wandering about and may feel that this part though not literally a corner may be called their own Children’s Corner, and later it may be possible to arrange for them to make a list of the names they wish to remember. Will Day and Sunday School teachers explain this to their classes.

Reading St. John parish magazine, January 1917 (D/P172/28A/24)

“Bits for the war”

Ascot people were active supporting some of our Allies undergoing the hardships of war.

ASCOT “LEAGUE OF PRAYER” (during the war.)

We very earnestly invite our people generally to join this League, and thus help bring down special blessing from GOD upon the Parish. Hitherto, except on Sundays, very few have been accustomed to enter GOD’S House at all. Some never enter it even on Sundays. HIS Sanctuary has been “put in coventry” during the week. Shall we, as one fruit of the National Mission,” change all this?

The Rule of the League is extremely simple, and is as follows.-
“I promise to go into the Church at least once a week between the hours of 7.30 a.m. and 7.30 p.m., and to spend at least 10 minutes in prayer or silent meditation before GOD.”

SERBIAN FLAG DAY.

Our readers, (so many of whom contributed, by their help and generosity towards the great success of the Serbian Flag Day on July 1st) will be delighted to hear that £150 was realized, after paying expenses. Of this the sum of £100 has been given to the Serbian Relief Fund and £50 to the continued upkeep of the “Ascot” Bed in the Hospital belonging to the Serbian Unit of the Scottish Women’s Hospital.

A remarkable feature of this day (due to the liberality and energy of the organisers) is the fact that expenses amounted to only a few shillings over £2. Kosobo [sic] Day, June 28th (the Serbian National Day), was kept in our Parish by special instructions in Serbia in our schools. On Sunday, July 2nd (Serbian Sunday), our gallant and suffering Allies were specially remembered at God’s Altar, and at all the other services, with addresses at Matins and at the Catechism Service. The Serbian National Anthem was sung at the conclusion of Matins and Evensong.

A COLLECTING BOX in aid of the Ascot Military Hospital is kept at the “Foresters’ Arms” Hotel by the kindness of Mr. Pendell. This was opened for the first time a short time ago, and its contents – £1 1s. 3½d. – forwarded to the institution named.

THE BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ SALE, in aid of the starving Belgian children (in Belgium itself) came off at the Ascot Schools on Saturday afternoon, July 22nd, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It was an enormous success, and is of exceptional value as bearing witness to the unselfish and very hard work of the boys and girls of our Schools, led by their teachers, and representing the most ambitious among many “bits for the war” that represent our “children’s war offerings” since the war itself began.

We will give a list of some of these “bits” in the September Magazine, as also a full account of the sale. For the present, it must suffice to state that the approximate profits of the sale amount to over £40, represented as follows:

Boys’ department … £13 0 0
Girls’ “ … 16 10 0
Infants’ “ … 11 7 0

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

Religion is not only for Sundays now

The parish church in Burghfield was left open for private prayer at this time of war.

THE OPEN CHURCH

The following is a quotation from a recent article in The Times:

“Among other discoveries caused by the war has been this one made by many people, that religion is not only for Sundays but for all days and all hours. The clergy have often told us that about religion before the war, but it seemed a platitude. Now to many people it seems a truth, and they are acting upon it, as people do upon truths when they are suddenly aware of them. So churches are no longer to them places to which they go at stated hours on Sunday; they think of them rather as a second home, a home of the spirit, as the house of God which should always be open to all his children.”

We are glad to say that both the Parish Church and the Mission Room are now left open every day for rest, prayer and meditation, and we hope that many of our people will acquire the habit of using them. On the very day that this is written, we hear that a group of 14 children went to the church in their dinner hour and, led by a lady who was present, prayed by name for their fathers and brothers who are fighting in the war.

Burghfield parish magazine, August 1916 (D/EX725/3)

The work that prayer has to do in winning this terrible and horrible War

The rector of Sulhamstead encouraged parishioners to pray for the armed forces. The Revd F M Green was to take services in the village while he was on holiday in part of August and September.

THE WAR

Our two churches are open daily, all day long, for persons to drop in and humbly put up a prayer to God for victory, peace and the preservation of those who are fighting for us. Some in the parish have promised to go there, if possible, once a week. Will you, who pass the daily stop for a few minutes and quietly ask God help? You would probably never enter a town church in France, and only a few remote village churches, without finding one person at least kneeling in prayer.

Remember 11 o’clock noon [sic], each day, wherever you are, for silent prayer.

It is with the deepest regret that we heard of the death of Major George Tyser, youngest son of Mr and Mrs W S Tyser of Oakfield. He was seen in the act of encouraging his men across to the enemy trenches in one of the brilliant assaults that the British and French have been making. Then he fell and his death was instantaneous. Our full and deepest sympathy goes out to Mr and Mrs Tyser and to his widow.

My Friends

There is an awakening amongst us to the work that prayer has to do in winning this terrible and horrible War. It took many months before we found out the part than munitions, and more munitions, and always more munitions, had to do in winning the war. It took us until well into this year to find out that we shall want the last man before we win the war.

Now we are finding out that it will want prayer and daily prayer and incessant prayer to win the war.

There are three methods of prayer:

1. The quiet kneeling alone in the morning and evening when we can name our dear ones singly before God and our own great cause.

2. The prayer of the household. Family prayer. If there are only two – then those two together. If there are more, then father and mother and children. If it has begun to drop as a custom among us, then now is the time to begin. The father perhaps has “gone to the War”. Then the mother and children can kneel together, morning and evening, praying together for father. Perhaps the son, or all the sons, have gone. Them father, mother, girls, children, can meet and pray for the sons and brothers.

If there are any who would like little forms of private or family prayer, the Rector or in his absence the Rev. F Green, can supply them.

3. United national worship. It means by petitions, such as those monster petitions we have signed in past years, all put up together – every one in his Church or Chapel, filling them to overflowing. God tells us He is “waiting to be gracious”. Could we have swept the German Fleet off the sea in the great battle of Jutland, if the light had held in our favour? Have we, as a nation, asked God’s help? Why are we waiting?

Let us begin our preparation for the National Mission of Repentance and Hope with fervent prayer.

Your friend
Alfred J P Shepherd

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

“Our streets and homes are becoming rapidly emptied of men”

The war was increasingly striking home as more and more men joined the armed forces – and more and more died.

THE WAR

The Naval Battle off the coast of Jutland and the tragically sudden loss of Lord Kitchener have brought home to us as nothing else has, the awfulness of the war. We can however thank God that we really won the victory, which will probably become clear to us when we read Admiral Jellicoe’s eagerly awaited Despatch and we can truly thank God for the magnificent character of Lord Kitchener and the splendid work which he has done for the Empire. We have also had an additional cause for thankfulness in the wonderful recovery of our Russian Allies and their victories over the Austrians, and also for the courage and grand resistance of the French before Verdun. Please God we shall have still more reasons soon for rejoicing.

Our streets and homes are becoming rapidly emptied of men, and a number more have joined up since last month. There are now from many families several brothers serving, and our sympathy is due especially to those mothers who have several sons at the war.

Several of our old lads have nobly laid down their lives, among whom are Sidney Walter Jones, John Thomas Owen, Ernest Buckle, William Henry Palmer, William Bellinger, and Ernest Westall. Moreover Lieut. William N Gardiner, grandson of the late Rector of Newbury, also died in the Naval Battle, in which Owen, Buckle, Palmer and Bellinger lost their lives. And yet how inadequate is this expression, for indeed they have, we trust, through death found a better and a more glorious life than any that can be ours here.

The Women’s Intercession Service on Friday afternoons is being well attended, though there are a great many more who could come, if they would: the members of the congregation are asked to put any special requests for prayer in the little box which hangs on the church wall, near the Intercession List, and these are used during the service: a certain number of names from the List are also read out.

Newbury parish magazine, July 1916 (D/P89/28A/13)

“God will over-rule the issues of this terrible world-war”

The war was bringing more people to the churches as they had loved ones to pray for.

Ascot

THE DAYS OF NATIONAL INTERCESSION (December 31st, January 1st and 2nd) were well responded to by our people. We were thankful for the 148 communions made on January 2nd. We were thankful also, specially thankful, for the presence of those who, for the first time for many years, worshipped with us in the Church of GOD. Let me earnestly plead with you to continue to come, now that you have “broken the ice.” May I reprint a sentence of two out of a Letter which I wrote to you all?

“We shall not deserve victory till, not one or two here and there, but parish after parish, throughout the length and breadth of the Land, lifts up a united voice in prayer to the King of Kings; the Lord of Heaven and earth, that He Who alone is All-Powerful, will over-rule the issues of this terrible world-war to the bringing about, in HIS own way, of a Christian and permanant peace… I make a special appeal to those among ourselves, who have grown into the custom of never coming to GOD’S House to offer HIM a single prayer. It is a difficult thing (I know it, and believe me, I feel with you the difficulty) to break through the habit of years, and to commence all over again… For the sake of our country and ourselves, in loyalty to our Lord JESUS Christ and in loyalty to our dear English Land, I call upon you to rally with a new and consecrated enthusiasm round HIS Altar and within HIS Sanctuary…”

Cranbourne

The Services in connection with the Days of Intercession were: – Friday, December 31st, 7.0p.m., Service of preparation; January 1st, Celebrations of the Holy Communion at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., with Intercessions each hour from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, January 2nd, Celebrations of the Holy Communion at 8 a.m.and 12 noon, and the other usual services, with a Special Service of Intercessions at 6.30. These services were well attended, the collections were for the Red Cross Society, and amounted to £8 13s. 9d.

The hours of the Weekly Intercession Services have been altered, and are now as follows: Wednesday at 11 a.m., Litany of Intercession; Friday, at 2.30p.m., Special intercessions.

Ascot and Cranbourne sections of the Winkfield District Magazine, February 1916 D/P151/28A/8/2

“We will keep the Home fires burning and the Church bells ringing till our lads come home”

The vicar of Winkfield drew parishioners’ attention to the spiritual needs of men at the front.

THE VICAR’S LETTER

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

I think most of us know that we are sending to all the men from our parish now serving in the Army or Navy, Christmas greetings accompanied by a present, to let them know that whilst they are spending Christmas far away they are not forgotten by those at home. Each man will receive with is present a Christmas card with the words “We will keep the Home fires burning and the Church bells ringing till our lads come home,” and also the message, which I ask you to specially note “We are praying for you at our Christmas Communion.” Those of us who have relations at the front will hardly need to be invited to come to Church on Christmas Day and there, especially in Holy Communion, the Lord’s own Service, commend their dear ones to His keeping; but I trust there will be but few in the parish who will not make a point of attending Divine Service on such a solemn and unique Christmas as this will be, to remember in earnest prayer those who cannot be with us in the home circle.

I want to draw the attention of those who have relatives serving to the article on “The Little Calendar.” One of these calendars, together with a pocket Testament and Prayer Book will be sent in each Christmas parcel to our men, and I should be glad to supply any who would like one of these calendars in order to read the same passage daily and use the same prayer as a bond between themselves and their absent loved ones.

In closing let me commend to your thoughtful consideration the message from the Archbishops urging us to make the first Sunday in the New Year a special day of Intercession in connection with the War. Notices of Services will be issued later.
Your sincere Friend and Vicar,
H.M. MAYNARD

* * *

THE LITTLE CALENDAR.

The other day, when one of our Army Chaplains was home for a short furlough, he mentioned a difficulty met by men on active service who were trying to lead a Christian life. They wished to read a few verses of the Bible every day. But the various Bible Reading Unions all chose passages from all over the Bible, and a Testament was as much as they could conveniently carry. Moreover, the Prayer Book Calendar Lessons were generally too long. So there was a need for a series of Short Readings, confined to the New Testament.

This want THE LITTLE CALENDAR is intended to meet. On Sundays and Holydays the Reading is usually from the Epistle or Gospel. On other days the Readings are for several days nearly consecutive, and month by month they illustrate some aspect of Christian Calling.

Much Bible Reading is of little profit, because the pith and marrow of it is not gathered up into prayer; and much prayer is stale and unhelpful because it has no fresh inspiration behind it. So a reference to some suitable Prayer Book prayer follows each reading. In this way the reading can be made more practical, and some of the wealth of devotional material in the Prayer Book can be illuminated by the lamp of God’s Word.

It is suggested also that THE LITTLE CALENDAR may serve as a bond between the absent. If soldiers and sailors on active service knew that their friends at home were daily reading the same passage and using the same prayer, it would make the Communion of Saints a more real and stronger thing, and as THE LITTLE CALENDAR, though specially prepared for soldiers and sailors, has nothing in it that is not adapted for general use, it is hoped that other people may like to use it, and be glad to think of those who are using it too.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, December 1915 (D/P151/28A/7/12)

24 hour prayer for the distress of the war

The Community of St John Baptist in Clewer were among many religious orders to pray in response to the war and its troubles.

6 December 1915

A Novena for continuous prayer for the distress & trouble of the world war had been arranged by the Cowley Fathers to be kept by Religious Communities & others associated with them, & we had made ourselves responsible for this day from midnight to midnight, having sent a notice to all our Associates (except Bishops) asking them to join in it as they might be able.

A special Litany of Intercession was used at Evensong for the first time.

Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

None can fail to see the Satanic origins of the war

The Community of St John Baptist, the Anglican Sisterhood at Clewer, were supporting the war in prayer.

December 4, 1915
My dear Associates,

The Novena of Prayer for the World War has begun, and very many of you will be joining in prayer with the Community, a cooperation which we value more than any other part of the activity of our Associates; and let us pray that our people may learn how to pray; they have much to learn, of not why so small a number at Intercession Services? Why the demand so often made that priests should join the colours, and fight at the front? The priest who celebrates daily, or often at his Altar, is doing more for his country than by fighting, however bravely, at the front. The real battle-ground is probably not Flanders, nor Gallipoli, nor anywhere else on earth, but the heavenly places themselves. Spiritual foes must be met by spiritual forces, and none can fail to see the Satanic origins of this present war, with all its unexampled cruelty, and murder, and its most skilfully organised campaign of lying, and treachery, both individual, and diplomatic.

As this letter reaches you, two of our Sisters, Sister Alexandrina and Sister Dorothea, will be on their way to India, in the P & O SS “Caledonia”. Two more, Sister Mary Frances and Sister Kathleen Prisca, will sail in the SS “Kaiser-I-Hind” on January 1st. I commend them to your prayers; the prayer “for those in peril on the sea” has now a new and terrible significance….

Arthur East, Warden CSJB

4 December 1915
Sister Alexandrina and Sister Dorothea started from here at 7.20 for Liverpool St & Tilbury Docks, where they embarked on the Caledonia for India. Mother went with them to London & returned in the afternoon. Two Sisters went to see them off at the Docks. Originally it had been arranged for them to start on the 27th Nov. in the Moldavia, but that ship was suddenly requisitioned by government.

Letters to Associates and Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/24/6; D/EX1675/1/14/5)

Pray for a deepened sense of national unity

The Mayor of Newbury (Frank Bazett, a local solicitor) led the way in volunteering for the armed forces as the war’s second Christmas approached.

It is rather difficult this year to look forward as we ought to do to Christmas: there is so much to sadden the gladness of the festival…

The following subjects for Intercession are taken from the Bishop’s Message in the November number of the Diocesan Magazine.

Your prayers are specially asked:

For our country and our government in the present crisis.
For the maintenance of our courage and faith.
For a deepened sense of national unity and mutual understanding between capital and labour.
For those from the Diocese who are serving as chaplains in the Fleet and the Army.
For the remnant of the Armenian nation….

May we be permitted to congratulate the Mayor of Newbury for his patriotic action in joining His Majesty’s Forces, and that at considerable sacrifice, thus setting a good example for other men to follow.

Lord Derby’s recruiting scheme has resulted in a number of young men enlisting from Newbury, and doubtless there are others who will go. Among those who have been accepted are Mr G P Hopson, Mr A Hill, Mr L Cramp, and Mr R J Drewell, four of our servers, and Mr Winkworth, a member of the Men’s Bible Class. Mr G L Pyke has been rejected on account of his eyes, his brother, Mr Cecil Pyke, one of our Sunday School teachers, has been accepted for service at home, and Mr R Bell has been rejected. All honour to those who have tried as well as to those who have been accepted, for they have shown their willingness to serve their country in her need.

May we ask relatives for any interesting news about men at the Front, for insertion in the Parish Magazine.

Newbury parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P89/28A/13)