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Home  >  Features  >  Looking Back: If... 1943

Looking Back

Friday June 28, 2013

Looking Back: Enough Food If..., 1943

The Editorial of July 1943's Life and Work, including a United Nations agreement we are still waiting to be fulfilled.



The past month has brought two items of news which are truly heartening. The first is that the United Nations' Conference on Food and Agriculture, held at Hot Springs, Virginia, in which all the forty-four United Nations took part, have agreed on certain fundamental principles with complete and hearty unanimity.

The principles imply that a sufficient and properly balanced diet should be provided for all human beings throughout the world, and that such an end can only be achieved by co-operation between the nations in scientific production and proper distribution. President Roosevelt has already accepted this declaration and doubtless our own and other nations will follow suit.

Of more immediate significance is the draft agreement drawn up by te United States Government, in consultation with the British, Russian and Chinese Governments, for the relief, at the earliest possible moment, of war-victims. It is proposed that for this purpose a big organisation be immediately set up with its centre at Washington. The Central Commttee will be formed by America, Britain, Russia, and China; the members of the Administration will be the Governments signing the agreement, and any other Governments which may apply for membership.

Each member Government pledges its support through contributions of funds, materials, and services, and the object is the provision of food, clothing, shelter, and medical services to needy populations now under the control of the enemy as soon as their territories have been set free. Apart from thankfulness that such preparations are in hand to supply this urgently needed relief as soon as oopportunity offers, one cannot but believe that, more even than collaboration in the present war-effort, this collaboration in great humanitarian enterprises will help to bind the nations together in harmonious co-operation in the years of peace.


The minister of one of our larger congregations has published in his parish Supplement, as a matter of interest to himself and his people, carefully kept statistics of his own activities during 1942. The figures must certainly astonish any who imagine that a minister's life is an easy life. Here they are in condensed form:-

Sermons prepared and preached, 85; children's addresses, 32; meetings in the congregation presided at, 29; meetings outside the congregation addressed (including 14 in the open air), 46; Church committee meetings attended, 97; services conducted or Bible lessons taught in a school, 18; marriages, 35; funerals, 32; special private interviews (apart from unrecorded callers), 51; preparing course of lectures, 10 hours per week; visits paid in congregation (more than half being to sick people), 983; letters written, addressed and stamped (including over 1,200 to men and women in the Forces), 2,114, while nearly as many were received and read.

Yet this minister makes no complaint of being overworked. He declares that he still finds time to walk in green fields, to see a good picture, to attend a concert, to entertain a friend or a stranger, to listen to the wireless, to read many books, to meditate and pray. It is certainly a very full life, and, being such, is doubtless a very happy one. But the record of its crowded hours makes one wonder a little at those people who, in perfect health and with no special needs, expect their minister to pay them frequent calls. In congregations like this, at least, loyal members will rather seek to relieve him of any unnecessary toil - and to support him in their prayers.


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