“We have no traitors in our midst worse than the so-called “pacifists,” who want peace at any price and, in many cases, are simply enemy agents.”

The fourth anniversary of the start of the war was commemorated soberly in churches throughout the county.




Sunday, August 4th, has been set apart for the purpose of commemorating our entry into this terrible war. We shall remind ourselves that it was impossible so long as we maintained honour, righteousness and justice to hold back. We took our place by the side of France and Belgium, not from any desire to increase our own power or raise our position in the world, but simply to prevent wrong and to work righteousness. Our objects are still the same. There is no hope for the world until the gigantic military despotism of Germany is destroyed. There will be services of Intercession at 11 a.m., St Mary’s Church, followed by the Holy Communion; 6 p.m., St Michael’s Church.

There were good attendances at the church on Sunday, August 4th, for Thanksgiving and Intercession. The offertories for the fund for assisting Prisoners of war belonging to the Royal Berks Regiment amounted to:

11 a.m. £3 11s 0 ½ d
6 p.m. £1 13s 1 ½ d
Total £5 4s 2d

Earley St Peter

August 4th

The anniversary of the proclamation of war (August4th) will this year fall on a Sunday. I do not know whether any special Order of Prayer will be issued. For myself I consider that the forms of Prayer for use in the time of War (by authority, S.P.C.K., 1S.) Contains sufficient material. But I hope all the clergy will prepare well beforehand to stimulate and satisfy the spiritual needs of their people. The collect, Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday (x. after Trinity) might well be used. Otherwise the order suggested for the last year may be used again (Forms of prayer, P. 87 FF.) with necessary changes.

My Dear Friends

The first Sunday of this month, August the 4th, is the anniversary of the war. I wonder what we should all have felt if on August 4th 1914, we had thought it would have continued up to this time. Lord Kitchener indeed said three years and enrolled his army for that time, but such is a contingency seemed impossible to the generality of our countrymen, many of whom thought that the first battle of the Marne was the beginning of the end.

Who then dreamt of the collapse of Russia, or of the entry of America into the war? Who for a moment imagined that Germany would descend to the depths of degradation to which she has sunk in the eyes of the world by her false dealings and her barbarities. Who had any conception of the miseries, the losses, the bereavements, of the greatest war that the world has ever seen? (more…)

We at home must rise to new heights so that we may be worthy of their sacrifice

The National Mission called people at home to respond to the war by turning to God.


It is doubtful whether the Church of England has ever been called to a task so great as that to which we are now summoned by the Archbishops. There have been great movements within the Church; but this is a movement of the whole Church, a call to discharge that mission to the nation, as a nation, with which it is entrusted. The times require such an effort; the horizon of men’s thoughts has been suddenly and immensely expanded; we are conscious, as most of us were not two years ago, of our membership in the nation, and of the responsibility of our nation in the world. Our sons and brothers at the Front are serving their nation and helping it to meet its responsibility, at the risk of their lives; many of them in doing so are finding a new realization of God.

We at home must seek from God the power to rise to new heights so that we may be worthy of their sacrifice and provide for them on their return a home that will sustain their spirit of devotion to duty and service to God.

But to this end we must first take stock of ourselves. Very much has come to light which shows the need for amendment and renewal of life. It is sad to find how little the manhood of the nation, as represented by the men in training camps and the like, is really touched by the Church. We have not brought home the message with which we are entrusted as it needs to be brought home. We must seek in prayer and meditation and conference to find the cause of our ineffectiveness where it exists, so that we may repent of it and remove it where it lies in ourselves as individuals or as members of the Church in our neighbourhood.

If we will do that, there is before us a great hope – the hope of an England leavened and guided in regard to its whole life, domestic, social, industrial, political, international, by a Church whose members have sought the will of God in humility and prayer, and are ready to witness together to the Majesty of God and to His redeeming Love in Christ. It is a time for prayer, for teaching, for witness; may God give us all faith that we may pray, knowledge that we may teach, and courage that we may witness- all these according to His will and to the praise of His glory.

Literature connected with the National Mission is issued by the S.P.C.K. Anyone who sends to S.P.C.K., Northumberland Avenue, London, W.C., the sum of 2s.6d. will receive all papers and pamphlets that are issued until the sum is exhausted.

Winkfield District magazine, May 1916 (D/P151/28A/5); Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, May 1916 (D/P154C/28A/1)

Patriotism is not enough

The Maidenhead parish magazine included various inspiring stories arising from the war, some well known today like that of Edith Cavell, other less so.

Sons of the Clergy.

All classes of the community have vied with each other in manifesting courageous self-sacrifice in the nation’s hour of need. But without drawing undue distinctions it is generally admitted that the sons of the clergy have been conspicuous in the Roll of Honour throughout the War. Week after week the long list of names appearing in the Church newspapers bear eloquent testimony to this fact. The work of the clergy in ministering to those left behind in a variety of ways has been of the greatest value.

“How Can I Help England – Say?”

Miss Helena L. Powell, the Principal of St. Mary’s College, Lancaster Gate, has written an earnest and helpful leaflet for children, showing how children can help in the War. It is addressed to the elder children in our Day and Sunday Schools, and copies required for distribution to these may be had free of charge from Miss Edith Neville, Banstead Place, Banstead, Surrey.

A Daughter of the Parsonage.

Edith Cavell, Directrice d’Ecole des Infirmières, Brussels, who was shot by order of Court-Martial in Brussels on a charge of aiding the escape over the frontier of British, French and Belgian soldiers, was the daughter of the late Rev. Frederick Cavell, Vicar of Swardeston, Norfolk. She was formerly a nurse in the London Hospital. In 1907 she went to Brussels, and when the Germans entered the city she refused to leave.

The Rev H. S. Gahan, British Chaplain at Brussels, has given a touching account of her last hours.

“She said, ‘I have no fear nor shrinking. I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me.’ She further said, ‘I thank God for this ten weeks’ quiet before the end. Life has always been hurried and full of difficulty. This time of rest has been a great mercy. They have all been very kind to me here. But this I would say, standing as I do in view of God and Eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.’

We partook of Holy Communion together, and she received the Gospel message of consolation with all her heart. At the close of the little service I began to repeat the words ‘Abide with Me,’ and she joined softly in the end. We sat quietly talking until it was time for me to go. She gave me parting messages for relations and friends. She spoke of her soul’s needs at the moment, and she received the assurance of God’s Words as only the Christian can do.”


Both sides are thoroughly weary of the war

The Newbury parish magazine reports a wearied mood regarding the war. Little did they know how much more they would have to endure.

The War still goes on, and it would be true to say that both sides are thoroughly weary of it. Still we must try to be patient, and trust in persevering prayer, not that we may attempt to make our will prevail, but in order that we may bring ourselves and our Nation to a right state of mind, and that means a state of penitence and of love for God. And let us trust Him to work His Purposes out in His own wide way. The services on August 4th were pretty well attended, there being 59 communicants at the Celebrations, but we must keep on praying and must be very regular at our devotions, both private and public.

The War Litany continues to be said at the Church on Thursdays at noon, and we should like to see more present there, and at the Celebrations during the week, which afford a special opportunity for intercession. There is also a weekly litany at St Hilda’s Mission Room on Tuesday nights at 8 pm, at which we have a small but regular congregation.

We are having just now a congregation of 300 or more men at our Church Parade Service, and the SPCK Soldiers’ Service Books, authorised for use by the Chaplain General, have been kindly lent us by Major C Abbot-Brown, Commanding ASC. It is grand to see so many men together at Church.

The Rector has had another letter from Mr Streatfeild at the Front: he is not allowed to publish these, but may say that they give interesting details of a Chaplain’s work – and they may remind us that the Clergy at the Seat of War, as well as the men whom they serve, stand in constant need of our prayers in their all-important duties. The last letter was written “under a waggon shelter waiting for the rain to stop”.

We should like to express our sincerest sympathy with Mrs S Payne of 2 Bartholomew Place, in the very severe loss of two of her sons through the war. A third son has been badly wounded, and a fourth has been given a Commission, while she has also two step-sons serving. In addition to this Mr S Payne himself has gone out to the seat of war to dig trenches. This is a remarkable record of loyalty, and well worthy of imitation.

We are glad to know that the Soldiers’ Club at St George’s continues to flourish, and is much appreciated by the men who use it, as is shown by the gratitude which they express personally, and in letters after they have left. At the Church Parade Service one Sunday a collection was made for the expenses of the Club.

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

Continuous demand for books for soldiers

The parishioners of Wokingham St Sebastian are asked for contributions for use by the troops:

War Appeals.

In case anyone is hesitating as to where they can send donations or articles we may mention two appeals which have lately reached us:

1. Hon Ambulance Association ask for ‘clothing, etc., required in hospitals and convalescent homes’.

2. S.P.C.K ask for donations to provide books for our soldiers and sailors. They have already supplied books to the value of £700, and the demand, both at home and at the front, is continuous.

Wokingham St Sebastian parish magazine, March 1915 (D/P154C/28A/1)