3 JANUARY 1936, Page 7

The Voice of the Churches The messages which the leaders

of different Christian Churches throughout Europe, notably in this country the Anglican and the Methodist, have addressed to their congregations as 1936 opens concentrate on the dominating issue of peace. The emphasis is almost all on the inter- national aspect, but at a moment when peace in one of our greatest industries is in danger the reminder of the President of the Methodist Conference that "the way of peace may mean the laying aside of family feuds and the healing of breaches in social fellowship" is pertinent and practical. The letter of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is challenging and searching in its demand that loyalty to the Kingdom of God must come first and "natural patriotic instincts, prejudices, emotions" second. It is true, undoubtedly, as the Archbishops claim, that if all Christians faced their duty to the King- dom of God honestly a Christian opinion would emerge in every country that would profoundly change the aspect of public affairs and lay open the way of peace. If that ideal were realised suddenly everywhere all would be simple. As it is, hard problems face a country prepared to do its duty to the Kingdom of God in a world that is not. If this country should find itself in that position —and it is at least as near to it as any—it can count on guidance from religious leaders who, apart from other qualities, compare favourably in ordinary human com- petence with any dominant political figure.