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

From the Archives

The Manx Church Magazine - May 1938

My Dear People,

What a glorious Easter we had. The church looked beautiful, and we are grateful to all who gave flowers and decorated the church. We had a good Lent, and many made a real effort to deepen their spiritual life. Palm Sunday was observed in the usual way. The first part of Holy Week was given up to the Passion Play, which created such a deep impression upon all who saw it.

The second cantata which the choir sang deserved a better congregation than it got on the Wednesday in Holy Week, and it was sung beautifully on Good Friday just before the Lantern Service.

We were grateful for the help of Father Linder over Easter. He had only just returned from the Australian Bush and was very much impressed by the reverence and gloriousness of our Easter services. The Children's Gift Service was a real delight, and the sick have appreciated their gifts.

The number of Communicants at Easter were about the same as last year. I am glad that there are only a few who appear then and then only. The real test of the Communicant life is the regular attendance month by month or week by week. This means self-sacrifice and real devotion.

Good Friday was observed as usual by the Three Hours' devotion attended by people from all over the Island. Then our outdoor Procession of Witness round the parish, which is always received with great respect and is always headed by the Band. The nave was full for the Lantern Service. All this enabled us to appreciate the glorious message of Easter, which we need in these days of European anxiety.

I hope to get away for a few days rest in May.

Sincerely yours,

Lewis C. Watson

THE PASSION PLAY

- Benson's 'Upper Room', which was performed in church in Holy Week, was a great success, and over 600 people saw it. It brought home the story of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in a most telling way, and most people were deeply moved by it. The acting reached quite a high standard for amateur actors, who were all Communicants of the church, and the high standard attained was due to the reverent spirit in which they approached the play. They all tried to be the characters they represented. In fact, the reverence and simplicity shown produce the atmosphere and told the story in the way we wished. The effects behind were well done, and the music helped tremendously the action of the play. It is true to say that the play could not have been produced except for the fact that all the servers helped to put up the stage and removed everything from the church in 45 minutes after the last performance. It is our custom not to mention the names of performers, but we must thank those who came from outside to help us e.g. Miss Rydings and her orchestra; Messrs Lawton and Co., of John Street, for lighting; Mr Miller, for scenery; Mr Wrangham, for make-up and lighting; and Messrs R.C. Cain for curtains; and the committee of the Mothers' Union, who helped Mrs Watson to make dresses. To all of them our very best thanks.

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