6 NOVEMBER 1942, Page 14


S1R,—Mr. Davidson, in The Spectator of October 9th, which has just reached me, asks whether the spiritual welfare of the.numerous Scotsmen strving in the Navy is adequately provided for by the Church of England chaplain. The answer is emphatically "Yes." If not, it would be the fault of the chaplain himself, not due to his being C. of E. In a ship sectarian differences count for less than ashore, and if we cannot accept a service and ritual which may be foreign to some of us, then heaven help us. It is fair to add that usually 80 per cent, of the ship's company are nominally C. of E.; that many Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and others attend the ship's service in preference to going ashore to their own denominational services, although they are given every possible facility for doing so ; and that the only ones who resolutely will not accept the chaplain's ministrations are the Roman Catholics, whose rigorous sectarianism is a great source of weakness in the ship's religious life. In shore establishments let each go to his own, but in so compact a body as a sea-going ship's company let all join together in the ship's service conducted according to the use of the great majority. Mr. Davidson may be interested to know that in my own ship members of the Church of Scotland number just over 5 per cent, of the total