26th April, 1937.
My dear Friends,
The outstanding event of May is, of, course, the Coronation Service on May 12th. You will see by reference to the Kalendar that there will be a Celebration of Holy Communion at 8 am. on that day, at which I hope there will be a representative attendance, so as to mark the day as being a spiritual offering of ourselves to God’s service, in addition to that spiritual offering of their lives that our King and Queen will make at their Coronation.
On the previous Sunday there will be a Special Service of Prayer and Dedication at 6-30 p.m. The forms of Service will be provided and the Bream Silver Band will be in attendance. I would suggest that worshippers should retain their forms of Service as a memento of the occasion. In the service there is an Act of Dedication to he assented to by the whole Congregation, who offer themselves to God for the service of His Kingdom.
During the month come the Church great Festivals of Ascension Day, Whit Sunday and Trinity Sunday, all of which I would commend for your special observance.
I pray earnestly that the great opportunities which are to he given to us during the month of May may not be let slip.
Your sincere friend and Vicar,
ARTHUR M. PARR
THE CORONATION OF THEIR MAJESTIES KING GEORGE VI and QUEEN ELIZABETH.
OUR RECALL TO GOD.
To the People of the Diocese of Gloucester.
Many events recently have, I hope made you think—the disturbed state of the world, our own fears and misgivings, the tragedy of our history. Now we are looking forward to the Coronation, and we think of it as something very much more than a great pageant. For many years we have been acting pageants. They taught us many things, no doubt, but they were unreal. The Coronation is indeed a great pageant and show, and there is a purpose in it, for it appeals to the whole empire, but—here is the difference—it is real. It is a great act of self-dedication. It is a great act of worship. It symbolises the acceptance of the Sovereign by his people, his dedication to their service. It is sacramental, for we believe that in answer to the prayers of the Church, God’s Grace comes to the King and to the nation.
We have come more and more to feel that the Crown is important to the Country and to the Empire, that it may he more effective just because it is Constitutional, that influence counts for more than executive power. We think it right that a King should he dedicated to his work by solemn prayers and service. The people, too, must dedicate themselves to the service of God, their King, and their Country. They, too, must be prepared to fulfil their duties as a Christian people.
What does the Coronation mean? it is a recognition of the Sovereignty of God. It means that we acknowledge that upon Him depends the safety and well-being of the King and Nation. It depends upon doing His Will, and His Will is righteousness. From Him comes wisdom, from Him come the gifts of the Spirit. This is the prayer of the Anointing.
“ Strengthen him, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, confirm and stablish him with thy free and princely Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and government, the Spirit of counsel and ghostly strength, the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness, and fill him, O Lord, with the Spirit of Thy holy fear.”
And we pray that his role may be one of justice and mercy. Is there anything more necessary at the present day?
But if the King is to rule in righteousness and subject to God’s Will, so must the peoplebe a righteous nation. It is the essence of Constitutional rule that every citizen shares in the responsibility of government, and they must dedicate themselves also as their King is dedicated.
We must strive to be a God-fearing people.
“ Turn unto the Lord your God.” We have forgotten God. We have allowed ourselves to be absorbed in worldly things. We have been proud and self-satisfied. We have been carried away by material prosperity, and by the multitude of our possessions, and by the power we think we have acquired over nature. We have been so overwhelmed by the rush of new knowledge and new discoveries, that we have forgotten our insignificance. We must remember God. “Turn unto the Lord your God with all your heart.”
We must live according to God’s Will. That means righteousness, purity, obedience, justice, mercy, love. We must respect Christian marriage. We must bring up our children in the fear of the Lord. We must strive to be just in the judgment that we form of other countries and nations. We must seek peace, but we must not condone injustice, or oppression or wrong doing. But it is our own lives that matter. We are to live according to God’s Will.
And we must worship God. By worship we recognise our dependence upon Him. In worship we dedicate ourselves to Him. In worship we are lifted up above the things of the world.” The things that are seen are temporal but the things that are not seen are eternal.’’
We must offer thanksgiving to God. We have as a nation great cause for thanksgiving. We emerged successfully from a terrible war. We have enjoyed since then peace and good order. We have been able to retain our traditions of freedom. We have recovered from an economic crisis. “What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits that He has done unto me? I will receive the cup of salvation and will call upon the Name of the Lord.”
I hope you will learn to think soberly and sincerely about your own lives and the lives of your nation, that the great Service of the Coronation in which you will be able to share as never before, will stir your Spirit, and that the fruits may be shown in a better, purer, nobler life dedicated to the service of God and the good of your fellow-men.
Your affectionate friend and Bishop.
A. C. GLOUCESTER:
“ Members of Christ.”
April 11—Hubert Robert Keith, son of Richard and Sarah Meek.
April 11—Kathleen Mary, daughter of Henry and Annie Jones.
April 11—Ivan Benjamin Charles, son of Henry and Annie Jones.
April 11—Raymond Ivor, son of Allen and Dorothy Brain.
April 25—Albert William Michael, son of George and Kathleen Croome.
“ Heirs together in the Grace of Life.”
April 3—Rufus Alfred Edmunds and Molly Pitcher.
“ The care of them is with the Most High.”
April 4—Gordon Riley Symonds, aged 2 years.
April 4—John Hampton, aged 63 years.
April 15—Brenda Elizabeth Hook, aged 1 month.
April 15—Eliza Jones, aged 82 years.
This month’s deaths include those of two young children, one very
young. The loss of little children is always one hard to bear and difficult
to explain. There should come to those who are bereaved a feeling of
gratitude to God for having shielded them from possible suffering had
they lived, and for the assurance that they are in His safe keeping.
John Hampton’s passing, by its suddenness, reminds us of the uncertainty of life and the need of all of us to be always prepared. “In the midst of life, we are in death.” I tender our sympathy to his widow and relatives.
The passing of Eliza Jones, at the ripe age of 82 years, sets before us an object lesson of patience and resignation. The staying of God’s hand is for a purpose. We ought to try and see what that purpose is. How great a comfort it is to know that God is with us in the times of death and separation. We know that He is. How much greater the comfort to feel that He too guides us and needs us during life.
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