St. Luke’s, Ramsgate
Another vicar’s letter from the start of 1939. War is still to come, but the threat of war is clearly on people’s minds and the vicar calls people to prayer. Church life still goes on, however, and rejoicing at money raised and plans for the development of what would become the present church building for St. Mark’s are also mentioned along with the work to build the present St. Luke’s church hall.
MY DEAR FRIENDS,
May I wish you all a very Happy New Year. As we leave 1938 behind, we wish that we could leave much of its unsettlement behind with it. This, alas, does not seem altogether possible, and the call to prayer and acknowledgement of God remain insistent. I hope that many who hitherto have not taken part in the Week of Universal Prayer will feel the need to do so this year. To join with others the world over in the first week of the year to seek God’s guidance for the Churches and nations, is surely at the present time a Christian duty as well as privilege.
As a congregation, I feel that we may enter the New Year greatly encouraged. The response to the Thankoffering Fund – now standing at £115 – cheered me greatly, and I know that you shared that encouragement. The sum realised breaks the record of even the first Thankoffering day. It is not merely that the amount is splendid, but that such a result cannot be attained without interest and unity. It is that good spirit thus shewn which will help us so much in our work.
I was equally cheered, too, by that same spirit of goodwill at the December meeting of the Parochial Church Council. It was then resolved to go forward with the undertaking at Northwood to erect a suitable building for the work there. It was a step calling for faith and courage and an appreciation of what God was calling us to do to further His Kingdom in our own town. It was taken with goodwill, and I am certain God will honour our faith. Quite apart from the important matter decided the spirit displayed is a valuable asset, and with it I am persuaded St. Luke’s will, in the truest sense, prosper and its work go forward. May I ask you all to pray for success in the appeal to a wider circle that the parish to help the above project, and also that our efforts to replace our Hut by a really suitable Hall will be crowned with success.
I thank God for these encouraging events last month, and thank the Church Council and you all for such helpful co-operation.
If I am to suggest a text to keep in mind during 1939, I would choose Proverbs 3:4-6:
”Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
For the leaders of the nations, for the leaders of the Church, and for ourselves as a congregation and as individuals, what better word is there than that? What problems would find their solution when that word is obeyed. And what undertakings we at St. Luke’s shall be able to carry out with success if our reliance is in God.
When the work is His its accomplishment is certain!
May faith in God and the spirit of fellowship enrich our experience in 1939!
Your sincere friend,
Gilbert. H. Williamson
Read on: 11. Rebuilding after the War, 1944-1956
14. Into the Twenty-First Century