10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 6

A plaint, not to say complaint, with which I have

con- siderable sympathy, reaches me. May the average English- man desiring to attend some church on a Sunday morning reasonably expect that if he presents himself at the nearest Church of England at eleven o'clock he will find the normal service of matins about to begin ? There is, no doubt, nothing sacred about the hour of eleven, but it happens to be the usual hour of service, and a chance visitor to some country church cannot always find out beforehand what the local practice is. It is disappointing, to say the least of it, to drive (as I have done myself) a good many miles to a par- ticular church to find that matins have been said at nine and that what is offered at eleven is a Choral Eucharist, which only communicants would normally attend. It may reasonably be asked whether the Church of England should be expected to make provision for any but its own com- municants. The answer is, I suggest, that as an Established Church it should, and that quite apart from that it is, and should be, the glory of the Church to encourage the wayfaring man to enter its doors whenever a service in which he can wholeheartedly join is being held. If that is so, it is obviously desirable that the services of that character, such as the Church's ordinances appoint, should be held at a com- monly recognised hour.