By kind permission of John King, Author

The vicars of the two Anglican churches were in the habit of addressing their parishioners through a news letter in the magazine at the beginning of each year. Farquhar wrote in the January 1917 magazine that a perilous New Year had to be faced for the third time in succession. “We long wistfully to know of the future but it is hidden from us. It is to bear bravely, ungrudgingly, the further sacrifice that must yet be made ere victory comes….

He also commented on the change in government as a result of Lloyd George becoming Prime Minister. “We welcome a new government. The old one did much that was splendid, but somehow it never seemed sure of itself, and people were losing faith in it. We now have a small War Cabinet of vigorous minds, a Government made up of very strong men, and new posts made necessary by the war, filled by business men. Above all, we have in Mr Lloyd George a man of the most wonderful driving force who has been a whole-hearted supporter of the war with the utmost vigour to the very end”. But it was interesting that he commented on Lloyd George’s proposed social legislation which he thought would make life “almost impossible for some of us”.

Farquhar again returned to the question of right. “I will only quite briefly emphasise afresh that in this world-struggle, in which we are engaged on the side of right, we do so need clean hands and pure hearts”. He also added a very apt social comment: “Our past life is ended, everything is in the melting pot. We shall hardly recognise England in ten years’ time”.

Later in the magazine he reported that someone had kindly sent to the vicarage a brace of pheasants just before Christmas. The maid who answered the door did not catch the name but only “Grove Park”. So far he had only succeeded in thanking the wrong person!

Luffman expressed similar sentiments in his New Year letter and said that everyone must work and pray that “God may crown with speedy victory the cause for which our sailors and soldiers are laying down their lives. The cause we believe to be just and true, and therefore must prevail”.

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