Parish of St Matthew the Apostle,
Douglas, Isle of Man

From the Archives

The Manx Church Magazine - January 1939

My Dear People,

The first thing I must do is to wish you all a very happy New Year. At the end of this month I shall have been seven years your Vicar. The longer I stay here the happier I am, although I am conscious of not being able to do as much as I should like.

The last year has been of real spiritual growth for many people, and I think that the Mission we had made a difference to many people. We have started our St. Matthew's Fellowship, which is growing. Before very long we shall have the full programme of our winter's work out, and then we shall have an admission Service. Then this last year has seen the admission of most of our Servers to the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary, which is a worldwide guild of servers banded together to promote more faithfulness, reverence, and regularity of altar servers. They do a great work in the services of the Church and help tremendously in the reverent and orderly conduct of the divine liturgy of the Church, and I am glad to place on record the faithfulness of our servers at St. Matthew's and their readiness at all times to help the Vicar in any work he asks them to do. Not least is the way they help in the practical work of getting the stage ready for our religious plays, which are such a feature of our winter's work at our church. This year has also seen the beginning of the Fellowship of Marriage for our young married women. So, in many ways I look back on a year of real advance in the things that really matter. I only hope that this year will see an advance of "the things which belong unto our peace". 

I am glad that at last the Government has declared that they are not contemplating the transference of the Mandated Territories or our Colonies back to Germany. Not because I think that they are not able to govern properly but because in the present state of affairs I tremble to think what the lot of the natives of those territories would be if they were to be handed over to the German nation. I was glad to see also that no territory would be transferred without considering the interests of the natives living there. Under the Mandates, we are there to govern in the interests of the natives living there, and I saw enough, when I was in Africa, of the British policy of indirect rule which is teaching the African the elementary principles of justice, to be satisfied that our Government is doing its best to carry out its Mandate, both in the letter and in the spirit. Moreover, I asked all the Africans I met whether they would prefer to be back under German rule, and not one of them said he would.

Without any sort of cant or hypocrisy, we can pray for a change of heart in people who are treating the Jews as they are being treated at the present time. Let us all pray then at all time, for peace on earth and good will to men of peace.

May God bless you and give you a very happy New Year.

Your sincere Friend and Vicar,

Lewis C. Watson

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