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Home  >  Features  >  Looking Back: An Unusual Form of Evangelism

Looking Back

Friday January 23 2015

Looking Back: An Unusual Form of Evangelism

A January 1940 report by 'A HUT WORKER' on Church canteens for the troops.

“HELLO Jock! Think of finding you here after the arguments we have had. I thought you were a Communist and had no use for the Kirk.”

These were the words with which a soldier challenged another who had visited a Church of Scotland canteen in a north country town. “If this is Christianity, then I’m in with it,” replied the professing Communist. “I always thought your religion was a matter of services and sermons, but this is different. They ask no questions about your religion, but invite you to share the fun and fellowship of this happy place. I like it, and what is more I like the people who run it.”

“A little group meets at 9 o’clock every night in the leader’s room. Would you like to come with me tonight?” asked the keen Churchman. “Do they answer questions?” queried the Communist. “Yes, of course. The leader reads a passage of scripture and we discuss with him. I ‘ve learned a lot since I began coming here.”

The two pals joined the study circle and have seldom been absent. The Communist has a new conception of the Faith. A simple demonstration of the Gospel in action led him to the threshold of a new belief, and already he is as keen to propagate his new religion as he used to be to condemn it.

The Church has seldom been given this opportunity of reaching men who rarely darken the doors of her sanctuaries. Over seventy centres are now functioning in the homeland and the call to carry this effective ministry abroad has come. The first hut to be erected by the Church of Scotland Huts Committee is in process of erection at a main railway junction where troops are constantly passing to and fro on leave. Preparations are also well in hand for the establishment of a hostel and canteen in Parish for men on short visits to the French capital.

Who can tell how far-reaching this unusual form of evangelism may be. It will influence many for whom the Recall to Religion was intended. Staffing is all important and adequate financial resources must be provided if the Church is to grasp this unique opportunity.

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