Religion: Revival in England
The room might have been any big-city political headquarters. On the wall hung a map bristling with red, blue and yellow pins. In one corner stood a Mimeograph.
Pamphlets, posters and handbills littered the floor and tables, and two purposeful young women pounded energetically on typewriters. But the bald, cheerful man who presided over this well-ordered confusion last week wore a clerical collar.
From his command post in an old brownstone mansion near London's Victoria Station, the Rev. Frank Cecil Tyler was directing the "Mission to London"—the biggest evangelical drive the Church of England had ever held in a single diocese.
About a year ago the Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. John William Charles Wand, decided that the time had come to do something drastic about British apathy toward the Anglican Church. The man he chose to organize the job was energetic Frank Tyler, 40, who had been parish priest in two of London's toughest, poorest suburbs. To labor in his teeming new vineyard, Tyler has 15,000 volunteer laymen missionaries. They are plastering London's walls with 55,000 posters, passing out a million handbills, selling 100,000 copies of a picture magazine, peddling Bibles and showing slides in 25 London theaters. It will all cost about $100,000.
First goal of the drive is to get Londoners to turn out for eight consecutive nights of revival meetings to be held in every local parish, beginning next week. Volunteers are assigned to 120 centers, each in charge of a specially trained priest. A typical center director is 36-year-old Rev. George Edmund Reindorp, whose parish includes some of the poorest and some of the most fashionable, sections of Westminster.
Reindorp instructs his volunteer door-to-door canvassers always to knock three times—"once for the Father, once for the Son, and once for the Holy Ghost." He explained last week: "Generally the woman of the house will come to the door protesting, 'What's all the noise? Ain't it enough to knock once?' When we explain who we are and why we've knocked three times, they usually say, 'Well, you can't stand out there in the rain all night. Come on in.'"
British Roman Catholics are also making an intensive drive for the lost and strayed. Under the leadership of tall, scholarly Father John Carmel Heenan, 43, superior of the Catholic Missionary Society, mission teams are paying flying visits to 1,700 Catholic parishes in England and Wales. In each of them missionaries stay from one to three weeks, visiting every Catholic in the area, holding church services twice daily. Father Heenan advises his missionaries never to complain to parishioners about lack of attendance
. Says he: "A church that is half empty is half full."
Time Magazine. Revival in England 9 May 1949 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,800246,00.html