Immediate help in an emergency

With many clergy acting as army chaplains, a former chaplain who had got stuck in England when the war started was helping out a Berkshire church.

Crazies Hill Notes

General sympathy is felt for the Rev. W. G. Smylie who has had a serious breakdown of health, which occurred quite suddenly the first week In March. He is now at the Bournemouth Hydro and the doctor gives a very good report of his progress. It is hoped that he will return in a month’s time thoroughly restored to strength.

The Bishop referred the Vicar to the Diocesan Clerical Agency for immediate help in the emergency. The Agency is in constant communication with a number of Clergy all of whom are licensed by the Bishop of Oxford for work in this diocese. The Vicar was thus introduced to the Rev. C. S. G. Lutz who was a tutor with Mr. Pritchard in Wargrave many years ago. Mr Lutz has been an Army Chaplain in Malta and Gibraltar. At the time of outbreak of war he held an S.P.G Chaplaincy on the Continent but was in England on leave.

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

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“The whole world had been brought more closely together through the great War”

A missionary service used the war’s universal impact to encourage donations.

The S. P. G. Parishes United Service, held at S. Mary’s on the evening of S. Andrew’s Day [30 November], was attended by a good congregation. The Principal of Cuddesdon, the Rev. J. B. Seaton, preached the sermon, emphasizing the fact that now was the best time to appeal for help on behalf of the work of the Church overseas, as the whole world had been brought more closely together through the great War. The offerings, in answer to the S. P. G. appeal, amount to over £54, but further contributions have come in, which, we hope, will bring the sum up to the £100 aimed at.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, January 1918 (D/P116B/28A/2)

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)

Occupied by soldiers

A missionary meeting in Wargrave had to be held in the church as the only parish hall was being used by the army.

Annual S.P.G. Meeting: Wednesday, December 13th, 7 p.m, in the Parish Church.

We are very fortunate in having secured the kind help of Bishop Mounsey. He has resigned the difficult Diocese of Labuan and Sarawak and, at the moment, is taking charge of Shiplake, while the Vicar is serving as a Naval Chaplain.

The meeting will be held in the Church, because there is no other building large enough now that Woodclyffe Hall is occupied by soldiers. But it will be a meeting, not a service. The Nave of the Church is a perfectly suitable place for such a gathering. It is our Father’s House and we shall be about our Father’s business.

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

A new world of justice and truth after the war

Missionary supporters in Earley had food for thought about life after the war.

SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL

On Sunday, December 6th, the annual sermon on behalf of the Propagation of the Gospel was preached by the Rev. F. Welch from British Guiana…

The following extracts from an article by Canon C. H. Robinson give us helpful thoughts in this “time of war”:

“The terrible price which we are paying as the cost of victory in this war urges us to find an answer to a further question – How may we use aright for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom that victory which we believe that He will give us? One thing only can compensate us for the misery and suffering which this war is bringing to millions of homes: and that is that the close of the war shall usher in a new world of justice and truth at home and a new era in the history of Christian Missions abroad.

But, if this is to be so, we must not wait till the end of the war before taking action. At the moment the whole of the non-Christian world is watching the present strife, and it behoves the supporters of Missions to redouble their efforts to interpret to them the teachings of Jesus Christ…

It is impossible to forecast what the future has in store, or predict the effects which the war will have upon the prospects of Christianity at home and abroad … but one thing in the future is certain. Earth’s greatest kingdoms may have their day and cease to be, but the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven is drawing nigh.”

Earley St Peter parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P191/28A/23/1)