Sunday, November 04, 2007

A National Day of Prayer, September 1940

The High Altar at St Mary's R.C. Church, Cleator
(Photograph by J. Ritson)
This article deals with how the British National Day of Prayer in September 1940 was observed in the area in and around Cleator Moor, West Cumberland (now Cumbria). St Mary's R.C. Church at Cleator was one of the churches where the National Day of Prayer was observed on Sunday 8 September 1940.
Reports about the church services appeared in the local newspaper 'The Whitehaven News'. These indicate that, although West Cumberland was more than 300 miles from southern England where the Battle of Britain was being fought at that time, all the church services were well attended.

For additional information about the 'National Day of Prayer' in West Cumberland click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The Day of National Prayer in Cleator & Frizington

Extracts from 'The Whitehaven News', 12 September 1940, page 5
(Cumbria County Archives Office, Whitehaven)

1. St John's Church and Wath Brow Mission, Cleator Moor (Church of England)

"Day of National Prayer - The special prayers appointed were said at St John's and Wath Brow Mission Churches on Sunday. The morning service was attended by a detachment of the local Home Guard under their commander, Mr G.S. Calder, and the 1st Cleator Moor Scouts and Guides were also present".

2. St Mary's Church, Cleator (Roman Catholic)

"A Novena of Intercession held last week concluded on Sunday, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin, when the day of National Prayer was observed. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament took place from the end of the last Mass until the evening service and during that period there was a constant stream of worshippers offering intercessory prayers. A procession of the Blessed Sacrament inside the church brought the day's observances to a close".

(This is the church that has been used for the photograph at the beginning of this article).

3. Cleator Moor Free Churches (Non-Conformist)

"The National Day of Prayer was observed by the Free Churches last Sunday when a special unified service was held in the Wesley Methodist Church. The resident minister, the Rev. T.S.J. Walsh, conducted the service. The special prayers were offered by Mr J.C. Joyce, and the address was given by the Rev. A.H. Pringle, M.A. Mr J. Harker was the organist and the service was ended with the National Anthem. A collection for the Red Cross amounted to £2 3s".

4. St Paul's Church, Frizington (Church of England)

"The annual convention took place on Saturday and Sunday. There were representatives from Cleator Moor, Cleator, Egremont, Hensingham, Whitehaven, Workington, Millom and South Shields. Father J.V. Wilson, St Albans, conducted the convention. The theme of the address he delivered was the work of the Church in the world today. The proceedings began on Saturday with tea, after which the address was on 'The Church's Failure and Repentance'.

The Convention continued on Sunday with parish Communion at 9 a.m. after which breakfast was served to upwards of 60 people. The second address, 'The Church's Opportunity and Strength' was given. preceding tea, the third address was based on 'The Church's Life and Work'. After each address the audience split up in groups of six for discussion. In conclusion Father Wilson summed up all the reports from each group, paying high tribute to the development and advancement in the spiritual work of St Paul's group meetings compared to that of two years ago when he visited St Paul's on the same mission. At evensong Father Wilson preached an inspiring sermon to a full church".

Writer's comment:

No doubt there were similar well attended services at many churches throughout the country. At the time the Battle of Britain was being fought in the skies above southern England. It was perhaps a time when many people went to a church to pray.

Sunday, 04 November, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you oh so very much
on posting this article as
as born-again intercessor I have always been trying to find out the correct day of this great humble act of our nation. I heard on the Christian grapevine it was the 8th. Yes we need to have another one.

Tuesday, 22 July, 2008  
Anonymous David Longworth said...

Another "Thank You"! The role of prayer during WW2 is alive in the memories of the declining numbers of people alive at the time, yet so rarely appears in histories of those challenging times. It's as if an unseen editor has been attempting to eradicate the place of prayer in our deliverance as a nation. Our continuing decline is a direct result of ingratitude and apostasy. Many more days of prayer are desperately needed, as is the repentance mentioned in the report of the convention at St. Paul's, Frizington!

Monday, 20 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to the above. In these days as darkness gathers again and our nation allies with others against IS how much our nation needs prayer.

Wednesday, 24 September, 2014  

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