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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
January 1945

My Dear Friends,
A very Happy New year to you, one and all, and may 1945 God willing give us victory. I am appending some special thoughts for the New Year. Points from letters are longer than usual for the simple reason that I have had more letters from you this time and I wish you to have the benefit of the messages they contain. The loss to the whole Christian Church caused by the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of October has been most grievous. I have included an appreciation written by a friend, which expresses in a few words the thoughts of many of us concerning a well-beloved leader. May I give you my own thought for the New Year, it is the Word of God "Behold I make all things new". Is not that a very sure promise for post-war reconstruction? And is it not also a very sure fact on which we may rebuild the old wastes.
Yours very sincerely

A Message for 1945.
WORKERS TOGETHER WITH GOD. The wonder of it! That the Almighty Creator should need our help. The Glory of it! That the High and Lofty one who inhabiteth Eternity should ask us to work with Him, and yet that is exactly what happens. God seeks our help for the salvation of the world. You who are in the armed Forces of the Crown are giving that help. Your bringing Victory nearer is making possible the triumph of God's Right over the Devil's Wrong. You fight for those eternal values for which Christ died - the dignity of Man as the Child of God, the sanctity of Truth, and the beauty of Goodness. And your labour will not be in vain, for Victory will crown your efforts, and future generations will know that you were true to the highest in Man. We at home should do everything in our power to see that there is no occasion for faltering, that your minds be not disturbed so as to lack that necessary concentration on the job to which you are committed. It is up to us at home to see that you get a fair deal both now and in the post-war years. So together we shall be workers with God.
We need to be worthy of this high destiny - for none has a higher calling. Our character must match our destiny. For this Christ Jesus took our nature upon Him and in His sacred humanity reigns over the Kingdom of God. Yet he is not parted from us, but by His Holy Spirit, He shares our struggles and our joys: in all our afflictions He is afflicted and in our successes His Grace is triumphant. Then let our prayers for 1945 be - O God fit us to work for Thee, that Thy purposes may be achieved in us, and Thy Kingdom established throughout the world.

The greatness of man lies not in the Past but in the Future. Man's achievements in the past give promise of what he may accomplish in the future. Note, we say, MAY, NOT MUST. Whether that promise is fulfilled or no, depends on the spirit in which Man faces the possibilities of the future. Progress is not automatic; the life of Man may gradually deteriorate, civilisation may decay; it is the labours of the Forces of the Allies which at the present moment are preventing that deterioration and decay. But when the war is won can we ensure the stability of the Peace? Only if we are prepared to face the post-war years with knowledge and determination to do the right thing. The next great step forward in the life of civilised man must be the attainment of such a security for the daily needs of life that the mind and spirit may be free to be enriched by the cultural heritage of the race. Then shall we know something of the meaning of the phrase "The Brotherhood Man".

We were all saddened by the news of the death of William Temple Archbishop of Canterbury, a great Churchman and a great Englishman. We had rejoiced at his appointment to the See of Canterbury, for with his great gifts and his understanding love of people, we felt that his counsel would be of the utmost value in guiding the nation aright in the post-war years. He was a man of great learning and of steadfast faith, who preached quite clearly the social implications of the Gospel, practising in his own life the doctrine of the brotherhood of man. He was indeed devoted to the service of God, and therefore to the service of men. Pray that the right man may be chosen to succeed him as Primate of all England.

The whole country owes a debt of gratitude to the members of the Home Guard, and the King voiced the feelings of his subjects when he broadcast on December 3rd. The efficiency of the members of the Home Guard made it possible for large numbers of the Regular Forces to be employed abroad, and their ready help and cheerful outlook did much to sustain the morale of the country. Their spirit of discipline and their good fellowship have been an inspiration to us all.

HM the Queen speaking at a big gathering of women at County Hall, Westminster, said, "In the name of the country which you have served and are serving so gallantly, I want to say to all of you, Thank you for a difficult job magnificently done". A gracious tribute well deserved.

At a British General Hospital in Egypt a short tine ago British Officers and men were being nursed, not by RAMC orderlies but by West Africans. These orderlies had been educated in Church Missionary Society or Methodist Schools and trained in Hospitals in their own country. All of them spoke English and all were Christians. The Colonel in charge of the Hospital (a London Doctor) was enthusiastic about his orderlies. He said of them "They simply take Jesus Christ for what He is - the Son of God, and tread faithfully in His steps." The English-trained sisters spoke highly of their efficiency, and the patients were really pleased to be nursed by them.

We acknowledge with many thanks Christmas cards received from Joe Power, Nicholas Wright, Leslie Bramwell, Sam Iddon, Harry Hindley, John Banks (Air letter combined).

James Waters writes from India Command. In some interesting remarks about 'Post-war' he says;" Not only Service men and women but all who have banded together to see this war through must above all band together to see the Peace through. Only by keeping together can we achieve that which is our long overdue heritage".

Jim Sutton CMF Dec. 4th reports snow, frost and rain from the mountains of 'Sunny' Italy. He notices an absence of wild birds out there, but oh the mud must be awful, when he repairs a jeep in the middle of a field which is a mass of mud. He sends greetings to Bert Miller and to all the Boys and Girls in the Forces.

George Taylor writes Dec. 11th from a 'lovely house' in Holland. He praises the hospitality of the Dutch people. He sends his best wishes to Tom Bond and wishes him full speed return to recovery, also the same to Bill Iddon, near whom he must have been stationed. He sends his good wishes to all concerned in the NL, the most interesting article sent to him since D Day. George asks film-goers to notice the News Reel which shows the drive into Germany, it shows ranks loaded up with infantry and George is driving the second one shown, sitting in the front nearest the camera. He saw himself in it at Brussels.

John Banks writes from RAF India (Dec 9th) and revives the Rector's memory of his wedding at Hesketh Church in January 23rd 1943, which the Rector remembers well. John says that recently he was in a Church where they had his wedding-day hymn. He has been lucky enough to go on a hill-party for sixteen days, which did him a world of good. He sends best wishes for the New Year to all, and especially to Bert Price, Bob Sharples and all his personal friends. He is now an LAC.
Kenneth Baxendale (6th December), tells us about the Dutch clogs which he says they seem to take off every five minutes and empty the soil out. The Dutch children are always calling after the soldiers "Cigarettes for Papa, chocolate for Marm" He has recently met a Corporal from Rufford. He sends his greetings to us all and to Cecil Cookson, Stanley Holden, and Frank Taylor.

Bob Iddon has written twice since the last NL. He looks like amassing a fund of information, good for a Lecture in the C/E School, Shoreside when he returns. Recently Bob has seen quite a lot of Greek peasant life specially in the islands. The people live in small store houses often mere caves, and either scrape a small plot of ground, or live by fishing, and these islands are silent rocky reminders of the days when most of them were volcanoes. Recently he visited one island where they watched two local industries at work, the making of olive oil and a pottery. There are no trees on the island, so the potter uses furze to heat his fire. This he obtains by a long trek up the mountain side with a mule. "I often think" Bob concludes "How lucky we are to be born British. Life for these people really is a long struggle from the beginning."

John Waters writes Oct.27th. He had just then received his August NL when his ship was in port, with the weather cooling off after much heat. Here there is a genuine 'Indian Bazaar'. And they travel round mostly in rickshaws. His brother Jim is out there too, and they are able to arrange meetings now and then so, as he says, he has no grumbles except mosquitoes! Jack Basset writes from MEF December 23rd. His letter only took a week to come. We are glad he has received his NLs so regularly.

Ernest Buck December 19th has been in Hospital two weeks after an operation. We are glad to hear that he is better and is feeling fit again.

William Bailey is a good agent for the NL idea. His friends say what a grand thing it is.

S Leadbetter (December 5th) sends his sympathy to Mrs Pill on the death of her husband.

Leslie Bramwell has written twice this last month. An Italian family has been very good to them doing their washing, darning socks, and pressing pants, and any little thing they need doing. He sends his congratulations to Dick Baxter on being made a Petty Officer. Talking about football he asks us to tell Jimmy Sharples to get his shooting boots ready for a game. He sends greetings to Wm. Melling, Bert and Tom Miller, Rigby Melling and Leslie Bramwell and to all a Happy Christmas. Joe Eastham (SEAC) particularly wishes to be remembered to all those who see the NL, also to Rigby Melling, Bill Melling and Stacey Gautrey.

Thomas Bond writes to us just after the Dec NL went out. We hope he got it. We agree with his last remark on this "awfully damp weather", but we are more than pleased that he is evidently better and hope he has seen the last of Hospitals.

Wm Melling November 26th, thanks us for the NL which he says is better than any newspaper. He is now at a shore base, on Loch Fyne (where the kippers come from).

Tom Brewer (CMF) showed "Country Lad" to some of his machine gunners and they all resolved to have a look at the place called Hesketh Bank in the near future. His own particular pal comes from Ormskirk and was very interested in the NLs account of the geese and the widgeon as he (Bill Sumner) used to do a little shooting at Hesketh Bank. He wants to remind Rigby Melling and Fred Carr that he is still alive and awaiting the long looked for celebration.

Fred Carr (CMF) gives us proof of the usefulness of the NL when he says "I am alright and always have your famous NL to pull me through if ever I am feeling depressed, believe me they have been worth their weight in gold." He returns greetings to Tom Brewer and tells him "Before he came up." Fred alludes to his lucky meeting with Ronnie Whiteside and Leslie Bramwell in Rome. He closes with greetings to his sister Ruby and Bert Miller.

William Ainscough (December 4) writes from Holland. He wants to be remembered to Tom and John Bond, Bill Iddon and Joan Binns.

Malcolm Parkinson has found his school days French come in very useful, for none of the French people he has met seem to understand a word of English. His lot roll out of their blankets at 6 am and do not get back to their shack till 7pm. Many thanks to Pearl Whitehead for her Christmas and New Year greetings. We certainly return the same.

Mrs Taylor (Dorothy Ward) is back home from the Preston Infirmary, and is very much better.

Mrs Cookson (wife of Will Cookson of Alty's) is still in Preston Infirmary and is making good progress.

Mr Johnson is home again after his operation in Southport Infirmary and is improving well.

Bob Checkley held a party in the C/E School on Boxing night in connection with his dancing class. He is devoting the profits to funds for the Troops.

The Church Sunday School held a crowded Tea Party and Concert in aid of the Sunday School Funds on Dec.16th, the first for several years owing to the War. It was a great success and a splendid Concert and Entertainment was given by the "Star Five" Preston. The usual Father Christmas Party is being given for the Church Sunday School scholars on January 4th and the Junior Dept., under Miss Bessie Iddon, Miss Connie Wignall and Mrs Redman are giving a splendid entertainment after Tea before Father Christmas arrives.

The Church Youth Club held a Christmas Social on Dec.20th. They had great fun with games, competitions and dancing. In connection with this Youth Club we are holding a special Youth Service on Sunday morning Jan.14th. The new Bishop of Blackburn is preaching at Hesketh Church on Sunday Jan. 21st. We are having a special collection for his Appeal Fund for the Church's work after the War.

Raymond Bailey is looking forward to his marriage with Winnie Quinlan of Crossens early in February.

John Jackson has been home on leave for Christmas. Moses Johnson has bought the house formerly tenanted by Bill Guy in Moss Lane. It was sold by auction at the Becconsall Hotel for £1550

William Bailey has been home on leave for Christmas.

On Saturday 9th December the Annual Social in connection with the Sunday School was held. Tea was served and this was followed by an Xmas Operetta "Queen of Christmas Joy" given by the Sunday School Scholars. Our Chairman was Mr James Rimmer.
On Sunday 24th selections and solos from Handel's Messiah were rendered by an augmented Choir. Mrs Carr Soprano of Walmer Bridge, Miss E Miller Contralto of Hoole, Mr T Brown and Mr T Watkinson were the soloists. Mrs W Iddon was organist, Mr Leslie Sewell pianist, and Mr J Watkinson conductor, Mr R Spencer of Freckleton presided.

There is not much to report from the Marsh these days. As most of you know, the main order of the day is ploughing and 'sprout picking'. The farmers have had a very busy week picking sprouts for Christmas, and luckily the weather has been favourable for this job. I should imagine that about 1,000 hampers will have been picked.
All the potato hogs have now got extra soil on as a frost preventative.
The shooting is still not up to last year's standard. The recent wet weather has rather spoiled it, and the fowl have been able to feed anywhere. This is disappointing for the shooters as they are unable to follow them as in dry weather. The best two bags of the month as far as I know are 36 and 20.
Referring to Sam Iddon's memories of wild-fowling, I wonder if he recalls one Christmas Eve a good few years ago, when a party of boys were out along the bank, shooting geese, with the tide at full. The birds fell well into the tide and one of the party (the smallest in fact) although without 'waders' insisted on fetching them out. Much to his astonishment he fell into a gutter and although drenched from head to foot, got one bird. In his saturated condition he stayed on until the early hours of the morning!
On behalf of the shooters and farmers, I send our very best wishes for 1945 to you all. DT

PS Harry Hoyle was married to Phyllis Eva Trute (of Canada) at St Paul's Church, Winnipeg on Dec 13th. They are now on their way to England.

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