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

From the Archives

The Manx Church Magazine - July 1938

My dear People,

I write on the eve of our Children's Festival. Although this festival does not appear in the regular calendar of the Church's festivals, yet there is something very joyous about a children's festival. Probably this is because as we get older we realise that the future of the world, both in Church and State, depends on this young generation growing up. When we look at the world today, we realise what a mess the older generation has made, and we naturally wonder what kind of a world the generation growing up will make of it. A feeling of hope comes into our hearts when we listen to sweet young voices singing, when we hear their laughter and their innocent chatter, and when we see their excitement and enthusiasm for play and fun and make-believe. This brings to us, surely, an added sense of responsibility when we contemplate the importance of their education and spiritual training. Parents, clergy, teachers, all share in this. If it has its responsibilities, there are compensating privileges and joys, provided children's education and spiritual training are based on sure foundations.

True education is not the filling up of the mind with facts, but teaching the art of learning, for our education is never finished. I sometimes think in these days we try to teach our children too much. The materialism, the Godlessness, and the mad rush for pleasure of this age are not a happy commentary on education. We have not emphasised sufficiently that the Kingdom of God is not of this world, nor have we taught sufficiently that the things of the spirit are the really important things of this life. If the present younger generation is to tackle the problems of the world in the right way, it will only be done if we can instil into their minds and hearts that that the problems cannot be solved except with the help of God. If we are to know God, then we must read our Bible to get a picture of what he is like, to see through God's Son the need of our personal salvation, and as His Spirit dwells in His Church as Guide, Teacher and Comforter, we must 'not forsake the gathering of ourselves together' as a corporate body to worship and praise Him, to place our individual and corporate problems before Him.

With all good wishes,

Your sincere friend and Vicar,

Lewis C. Watson

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