St Peter's Magazine for June 1944

The past is still with us

The June 1944 edition of the St Peter's magazineA reproduction of the June 1944 magazine was published for the Patronal Festival of St Peter’s Church on 25 June 2000. This, being a day of celebration and welcome to our new Rector, seemed a good time to connect with the past as well as the future.

The June 1944 edition was first published as the D-Day landings were taking place, and the atmosphere of anticipation and hope is clearly reflected in the magazine.

“We cannot prophesy as to what may happen perhaps before or during June, nor can we tell how greatly it will affect our everyday lives. We must believe that God wills to give the world peace and order and that when we are ready and committed to use peace according to His will, He will bestow the gift.”

In addition it gives details of services and all that was going on in St Peter’s at that time, enabling us to see both how much and how little has changed over the years. It clearly reflects a pattern of mid-week services and a concern for people and events overseas, just like today. Some of the church officers listed are recognisable as relatives of some in our present congregation.

Also interesting are the adverts, giving clues to wartime life in Nottingham, and showing how much commerce in the city centre has changed in 56 years.

“Who knows what may or may not have happened before this letter is in the hands of readers?”

Jim McLean

Extracts from the June 1944 magazine


We cannot prophesy as to what may happen perhaps before or during June, nor can we tell how greatly it will affect our everyday lives. We must believe that God wills to give the world peace and order and that when we are ready and committed to use peace according to His will, He will bestow the gift. To some people the task to which they must give the whole of their attention is to organise and carry through military operations. Some of us can do little this way, but we can pray and try to create the conditions that may make peace not just the ceasing of hostilities but the beginning of a new harmony among the people of Europe and indeed the whole world.

This will be extremely difficult. Apart from the chaos and confusion, the lack of local authority, the absence of food, water, and electricity, etc. - all those services that we take for granted in any city in these days, there will be deep bitterness, hopelessness, mistrust, and lack of energy to contend with. People who have suffered as all Europe has suffered for four years, will not be in an equable frame of mind and ready to settle down quickly and quietly to a new order. We shall need very great qualities of generosity, patience, and real goodwill.

Yet here is the chance of setting up a better state of affairs in Europe. Our statesmen, their statesmen, must have behind them the support and the pressure of a people who really seek the welfare of all Europe and no mere temporary expedients. Probably there will have to be temporary expedients but that won’t matter so long as there is the will to see the business of a better Europe gradually and successfully brought about.

The Christian Front Meetings can help us all in this matter. The general title is Peace-planning. The full programmes are available and there are only two points that one would emphasise here.

The first is “What is Man.” Who and what is this creature for whom we would create a better future?

It is so easy to put men and women into categories and label them according to their distinctive nationalities, political views or occupations and then to treat them according to the supposed limitations suggested by the labels we have given them. But people are not just Dutchmen, conservatives or plumbers; they are men and women; and men and women are not just a higher kind of animal, but individuals to whom God has given His Spirit. In them there are infinite possibilities. We can rely on the cow or the cabbage. Given the right material environment, we know what to expect of them. But unless we deal with the spirit of man, we don’t know what to expect. He is capable of sublime heroism or horrible beastliness.

Before we plan for man, we must recognise his nature and act accordingly. To that subject the Dean of S. Paul’s and Fr. Agnellus Andrew (well-known as a member of the Anvil) will address themselves.

On Tuesday we shall hear about the things that make for Peace; on Wednesday, Life and Labour (Mr. Heron on control in industry should be particularly interesting: his view-point is that of management). On Thursday, Homes and Housing (with the Archbishop of York) and on Friday, “The Challenge - our great opportunity.” There are people who still think it is enough to wait with hands folded for better times to come.

Under God, we have to create the future. We know what happened after the last war. Please God, we may rise to our opportunities and responsibilities this time.

On the last night, the Bishop of Nottingham, the Rev. Principal Evans (Baptist) and the Bishop of Leicester will speak on this subject.

Please come to the meetings and press others to come.


My dear Friends,

First of all thank you very much for the generous collection this month for Special Funds.

It is not by our arrangement, but from outside that it happens that there are three special collections on three Sundays running.

I am hoping to be away for two weeks this month. In view of what may happen I don’t like planning to be away, but I don’t know when anything may happen, and if anything does happen it won’t all be over in a week.

Owing to various reasons, domestic and otherwise, these weeks semmed to be the only possible and I need some ‘leave’ very badly: so having been able to arrange for the Sunday and Weekday duty, I hope to get away on June 12th.

I share with many the sorrow at the deaths of Lady Wright and Mr. Armes. They have had long periods of ill-health. May they enjoy rest and refreshment.

The Diamond Jubilee of the Diocese is to be kept on June 9th. Under war conditions, it is hard to celebrate the occasion properly but will you make a point of praying for the Diocese on that day.

Yours very sincerely,



The pilfering continues. This month someone has stolen the large and ancient key for the main door.

Magazines. Please may we have the help of subscribers or receivers of the Magazine. It may be that the previous occupier of your house desired to receive the magazine and later left without notifying us. If you do not wish to continue to receive the Magazine would you please let the Rector know.
If you do wish to receive the Magazine, we would be glad to receive a subscription. The Magazine with its two insets costs us about 2½d a copy. We have not put up the price as we wished to be unfashionable.

Flowers. Many thanks for the lovely flowers this month. There is a vacant date this month, June 25th (the Chapel Altar).


comes at the end of the month. Do make it an occasion - a family re-union. On the day the Communion Service will be at 7.30 and sung by the Blue Coat School at 11; Evensong at 6.30.

On the Sunday, Canon Ives will preach in the morning and Dr. Yarnold in the evening and on the Wednesday following the Rev. R. P. Tinsley will speak at 1.15 at the Lunch Hour Service.

Diocesan Work amongst Young People.

The Committee is issuing a loose leaf magazine of interest to members of Youth Groups and those interested in work among young people.

The first issue has been placed on the table at the Church and you are asked to look at it and if you like to receive copies, please apply as requested on sheet 4.

The Melanesian Mission.

Each year we give a small amount to this Mission. At the annual meeting it was asked, and quite naturally, why support was still given when the Mission had ceased to function? The answer to this is two-fold. The Mission has never ceased to function. The Bishop and his clergy have never left the Diocese (till just lately when the Bishop went to Auckland, N.Z. to attend a synod).

The Melanesians have been most loyal and helpful to the Allied armies. (Perhaps some of you will remember the case of the police sergeant who was tortured by the Japanese, but refused to give away any information and eventually escaped and continued to assist the Allies).

At the moment Rabaul and the Eastern end of New Britain are still in enemy hands, but before long this island will be clear of the invader, and Mission Stations, with churches, schools and hospitals will have to be rebuilt. So they do want every shilling we can give them.

This is not to boost one Mission at the expense of any other. But it is a particular instance of what is wanted in many places in the mission-field. Still more, service is required. The Archbishops have just issued a call for recruits for the mission-field after the war. During the first two years after the war 800 volunteers will be required - namely 300 clergy, 50 doctors, 100 nurses, 200 teachers for schools and colleges, 40 laymen and 60 women for pastoral and evangelistic work. Also radiologists and experts in agriculture, economists and social welfare.
© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 5th August 2000