Who organised the national prayer days of the Second
World War? When did they occur, and where can I learn more about
them? Also, did such days of prayer also occur in the First World
A Day of Prayer was held on Sunday 26 May 1940, and a 20-page
booklet, A Form of Prayer to Almighty God in this time of
war, was "Issued under the Authority of the Archbishops of
Canterbury and York". It contained prayers to be used at holy
communion, and morning and evening prayer. I do not know of any
other days of prayer, though I have an idea there may have been
(Canon) Michael Halliwell
During the First World War, National Days of Prayer were held
regularly: see The Church of England and the First World
War by Alan Wilkinson (SPCK, 1978; new edition, Lutterworth,
On 21 August 1914, the Church Times commented: "To-day
in every Cathedral and parish church a great act of supplication
will be made, the like of which has been seen by no one living. For
a whole century our nation has dwelt in peace, without a thought of
vital danger to its security. . ."
Reports on the 28th included a long account of the services in
St Paul's Cathedral, and the text of the sermon by the Bishop of
Zanzibar, Frank Weston, preached at All Saints', Margaret Street,
in London. A leading article said: "Our cathedrals and parish
churches were filled by people who had come not to listen to music
or preaching but to pray. In village churches the labourers
gathered for prayer after a long day's work in the harvest-fields.
The troops now guarding our land or being trained for future
service across the seas made intercession on behalf of
comrades-in-arms already facing death."
Explore the Church Times archive at www.churchtimes.co.uk/archive (free to postal
subscribers), which also covers 1939-45. Editor
David Winter (Diary, 19 September) reports celebrating St
Mary's Patronal Festival on 17 August, the Sunday closest to the
Feast of the Assumption. I don't believe that his parish is alone
in this. Surely very few churches have the Assumption as their
dedication; so what has caused 15 August increasingly to find
favour over 8 September?
What is the origin of the shoulder cape that I have seen
worn on top of a cassock by some Anglo-Catholic priests? When
should it be worn? Is it the same as a mozetta?
F. S .
Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question,
Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden
Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.