Christ Church 103 years ago

Shirley has found some old magazine copies, so here is what was happening in August 1918. Note that schools were closed due to the Influenza outbreak (p23), which first reached Staffordshire in July 1918.

THE VICARAGE, July 23rd, 1918

Dear Friends,

I have heard of only one distinction this month, but it is a very gratifying one, Major Swynfen Parker-Jervis has become Colonel.

There are still at least three months ahead of us, in which campaigning on a large scale will be possible on the Western Front, and our hearts are full of anxiety, for we do not know whose lot it will be to fall in battle. We shall not forget to pray at home for our men, and at the services on Wednesday afternoon, but I would ask you particularly to observe Sunday, August 4th. By universal consent it will be a Day of National Prayer. Of course, as the Archbishop of York says, there will be nothing magical about it. Its worth depends simply on whether it does really unite and concentrate the prayers which are continually day by day rising from the hearts of the citizens of the nation, whether it does really express a common desire and effort to live the national life in accordance with the will of God. Yet, remembering this, we do well on great occasions such as the Anniversary of the War, to gather up our constant prayers and efforts in a corporate act of acknowledgment of God and of allegiance to Him.

Let us make ourselves into recruiting officers for the services of that day, and bring with us, to God’s House, those neighbours who have got out of the way of attending.

Let us make ourselves into recruiting officers for the services of that day, and bring with us, to God’s House, those neighbours who have got out of the way of attending.

It will be a day of Repentance, Remembrance, Renewal.

Thank God, we have no need to repent of our cause, but each one of us has plenty to repent of. May God give us true repentance.

Then we shall remember the king and his ministers, the commanders and the men who are fighting, the wounded, the nurses, the prisoners, the sorrow stricken in all nations, the women and girls and all who are bearing the heavy and incessant toil of national work.

This will move us to renew our faith and fortitude, and dedicate ourselves afresh to the duty of finishing the work we are in. There will also be much for which to thank God, perhaps many mercies, by August 4th, of which we don’t know yet.

Our sympathy should go out to those whose relatives are prisoners. News comes very slowly. For their encouragement I print further extracts from Mr. Newman’s letters.

I am, Yours sincerely, C. E. COPE. (Vicar)


He is at present at a farm on the coast of Mecklenburg, Germany

Whit Sunday. Another beautiful day— bright and hot with a gentle sea breeze. The sea looks beautiful, the hedges are a mass of bloom, and the woods look invitingly cool. Have just finished my usual Sunday morning’s occupation— washing clothes and doing a little mending.

It has been very hot working out in the fields this week, and I am thankful to have such a healthy open air job. On Wednesday last I did my first morning’s ploughing, and found it not an easy job. However, thanks to the fact that the three horses knew more about it than I, things went off remarkably well.

May 26th.

Glorious news this week. On Friday, I received seven food parcels and one parcel of underclothes. I told you our things would start to come through soon. Today I have had my first cup of tea since January, and all sorts of good things to eat.

Notes and Notices – THE SCHOOLS

To our great regret Miss Margaret Masefield, who volunteered to help us in our time of need has been obliged to give up teaching. The strain on her voice was too sudden, and the doctor absolutely forbids her to go on with the work. Managers, Teachers and Scholars value the patriotic motive which brought her to our aid, and sincerely deplore Miss Masefield’s enforced departure. We welcome Miss Dorothy Hazlehurst who has returned to the School on the completion of her college course. Owing to the Influenza epidemic the Schools have been closed.

Meaford Sunday School re-opens on August 11th. For the other Sunday Scholars there will be service in Church on August 11th, and following Sundays at two o’clock. Sunday School reopens on September 1st. The Day Schools reassemble on September 2nd.