1939-04 (April)

St Matthew's Church and Parish Hall, c1920s

APRIL 1939



My Dear Parishioners,

We have had a very disturbed but a very happy Lent. Perhaps the very fact that there were so many public appeals for worthy objects in our town helped us to realise that community service to be effective must be based on a real faith in God, and the multiplicity of engagements made us value the quiet times in God’s House and the special opportunities Lent gave us. Certainly the observance of Lent this year meant real self-denial on the part of many, and that cannot but result in spiritual strength for our Church as well as for the individuals concerned. The faithfulness of so many, both at the Sunday services and the week-day ones too, has made me very happy. I feel that here in this parish we have a great band of men and women with whom God comes first, and as their spirit permeates the community the whole life of this district will be blessed.

That the joy of Easter may be yours in all its fulness is the prayer of

Your sincere Friend and Vicar




The annual general meeting of parishioners is an important occasion. The reports and balance sheets for the past year are presented, the work done is reviewed and plans for the future discussed. Officers are elected for the coming year. It is always encouraging to the Church officers to see a large attendance. The meeting this year will be held on Wednesday, 19th April, at 7.45 p.m, in the Parish Hall. Please keep that evening free. We have had a good year, help us to make a good start with the coming year.



Parishioners appreciated very much the message delivered by Canon Malcolm, from the Bishop [Herbert St. Barbe Holland], sent just before he entered hospital. It was good of the Bishop to think of us at such a time and to send us such an encouraging message of thanks and blessing. We share with the whole diocese in thankfulness that the operation has been successful and pray that the Bishop may soon be fit again and able once more to take up his task of inspiring leadership.



Members of the staff are taking a full part in giving Bible instruction in the State schools. Classes are taken at West, Lansdowne and Whatman schools.

On Monday and Wednesday in Holy Week the Holy Communion will be celebrated at 7 a.m. at St Matthew’s, and on Tuesday and Thursday at 10.30 a.m.  At 7.30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there will be a devotional service with address, and on Thursday at 7.15 p.m., an open air service of witness on the old Church site in front of the Scout Den.

The visit of Canon Malcolm on Sunday, 12th March, was greatly appreciated. His address at Evensong was inspiring and encouraging, and the meeting afterwards for the Bishop’s Helpers was a very happy one. We shall look forward to having Canon Malcolm with us again--soon, we hope.

There was a splendid collection for the Melanesian Mission on 5th March. The offerings that day, including contributions sent through the post, amounted to £31 17s 6d.

On Sunday, 19th March, at 8 a.m., four new members were admitted to the ranks of the Servers. It was an impressive little service and we welcome the new members. A meeting for all Servers has been arranged for Monday, 17th April, at 7.30 p.m.

More harvest gifts than usual and happy well-attended services marked our Harvest Festival. Parishioners appreciated the help of Rev. F. A. Tooley, at Evensong at St. Matthew’s.  

The annual meeting of St. Matthew’s Badminton Club has been fixed for Thursday, 13th April, at 7.30 p.m in the Parish Hall. An invitation is extended to all church members interested to be present.

The annual picnic for St. Matthew’s Sunday School will be held on Saturday, 22nd April, at Solway. Fuller particulars will be told the children at Sunday School.

Each year a small committee of the Ladies’ Guild holds a series of bridge evenings in the Common Room, on Thursdays. The series for this year which will again be for Guild and Scout funds will start on Thursday, 13th April, at 7.45 p.m. These are always very happy evenings and all interested are cordially invited.



On this sacred day all Christians will want to watch with Christ. On the first Good Friday, Jesus longed for the presence and support of His friends. They failed Him. Each Good Friday is a challenge to Christians not to fail Christ as we commemorate the great act of redemption. The services at St. Matthew’s will be:--8 a.m., Litany and Ante-Communion; 10 a.m., Matins and Sermon; 12 (noon) to 3 p.m., Three Hours’ Devotions, to be conducted by the Vicar; 7 p.m., Lantern Service on the Crucifixion, in the Parish Hall. There will be a service at Kuripuni at 9 a.m.



This is the day of triumph and of victory. The Message of the Resurrection means so much and touches us all so clearly that we hardly need the injunction of our Prayer Book that on this day all are to make their Communion. We just couldn’t stay away from our Lord’s Own Service on this great and happy day. The Holy Communion will be celebrated at St. Matthew’s at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 11 a.m.; at Kuripuni at 9 a.m.; at Upper Plain at 9.15 a.m., and at Taueru at 10.30 a.m. There will be children’s service at St. Matthew’s at 10 a.m., at Kuripuni at 11 a.m., while at Upper Plain parents and friends are asked to join with the Sunday School children in a family service at 6.30 p.m. The Bideford service will be at 2.30 p.m, and Evensong will be held at 7 p.m. at St Matthew’s and Kuripuni.   [A total of 12 services on Easter Day.]



The Guild holds its annual meeting on Thursday, 20th April, at 2.30 p.m. in the Common Room of the Parish Hall. A cordial invitation is extended to all interested to be present at this first meeting of a new year. The Guild is a live organisation and new members are always welcome. It would be just splendid to see all the ladies of the parish linked up with their own Guild, either as active or as honorary members. The Guild has a great record of practical Christian service and the greater the membership, the greater is the work it can accomplish. Ladies, please accept this as a personal invitation to be present at the annual meeting of the Guild on Thursday, April 20th at 2.30 p.m.



A rousing address on “God’s Plan for the World,” by Mr. R. I. Wadhams marked the March meeting. The speaker sounded a clarion call to repentance and showed by a survey of history and present world movements that God had a plan for His world and that only in co-operation with Him could security and peace be found. A splendid discussion followed and four new members were elected. It was agreed to join with other branches in a renewal service at 7 p.m. on Palm Sunday. The next meeting will be the annual meeting of the branch and will be held in the Common Room on Monday, April 3rd, at 8 p.m. All men are invited. Last year’s activities will be reviewed and plans made for the coming year.



The C.E.M.S. have arranged a great act of public witness, to be held in the open air, in front of the Scout Den on Thursday, 6th April, at 7.15 p.m. We can be sure that the streets of Masterton will be crowded that night and being the night before Good Friday makes it a splendid time for this special service. Some four members of the Society will speak for a few minutes on the subject, “What Christ means to Me.” We rely on the active support and presence of the men of our Society and we ask all parishioners to back them up in this great venture. A large crowd will attract others, and the more that are present the more effective will be our witness.



The Church of the Epiphany was beautifully prepared for the Harvest Festival services, and there were good congregations.

There can be no doubt that the change of the hour for Sunday School is appreciated by parents and children. The attendance increased at once. Kuripuni Sunday School, therefore, will continue to meet at 11 a.m. every Sunday.

The party for Kuripuni Sunday School has been fixed for Saturday, 29th April. Full details will be told the children at Sunday School.



The Bishop has asked every parish to set aside a Sunday in April for the launching of the second lap of this great campaign to erect a worthy Cathedral in the capital city of the Dominion and to provide a Fighting Fund for extending God’s work in every corner of the Diocese. A magnificent response has been made already, but there is much still to do. Sunday, 30th April, will be the special day for us here. On that Sunday the centenary hymns will be used, and we shall go forward, with God’s Blessing, to complete the work to which we have put our hands. It would be just inspiring to have every Church family represented at the services by as many as possible that day.



Anonymous, 17s 6d; Miss Rochel, Mrs Dalrymple, Miss Robins, Miss Creswell 3s each; Mesdames Buckton, Keisenberg, Hope, Miss Francis, 2s 6d each; Mesdames Penistone, Holmwood, 2s each. For Church Chronicle: Mesdames Chalmers, Penistone, 3s each; Mr. F. H. Dunderdale, Miss Creswell, 2s 6d.



The world cries aloud for a new spirit. Few can rest satisfied while some of the most precious things in life are in danger of being lost. History reveals that those precious things like liberty, justice, love were won for the world by Christianity. Apathy in times like these is a crime against human brotherhood.  Christian forces must be strengthened.  The Church is God’s instrument to preserve all that is best in life. If you have grown careless, the call comes to you now to be faithful to your Christian duty. We want all to come to Church, following the example of Jesus, and so help to create the spiritual power needed by our world.



Many who believe that the British Empire stands for something precious for humanity will be glad that this day in which we think of our national heritage, falls on a Sunday this year. Times are critical indeed.  Our Empire stands for principles and to deepen that trust in God which have been the foundation of our national greatness. St. George’s Day, which falls on Sunday, 23rd April, is a day of opportunity for us all. Let us make the services that day worthy of this great occasion.




1        David Charles Aitcheson

5        John Barrington Glen

11      Jennifer Margaret Laing

16      Thomas William Bunny




4        Griffith Wynn Neale Johnson and Jean Evelyn Judd Dickens




2        Alice Sarah Falconer

15      Josephine Govenor

24      Harriett Hood



Original scanned image - 120918--0016