Lawful, sober amusements advocated

Published May 1, 1999

100 years ago: May 1899

Canadian Churchman quoted Rev. Dr. Rainsford with the comment: “I do advocate with all my heart and soul the providing for our people places where they can amuse themselves without vice, saloons where they can drink and eat, read, and hear music, if they wish it, at reasonable prices – places where, in honest and sober fashion, the young people may meet to dance and play. Why, sir, the people who criticize such movements as these do not know what they are talking about; they do not know the humdrum lives of the poor.” We believe that the church has never made a greater mistake than when it has opposed every form of popular amusement. People will be amused. People ought to be amused, and if lawful amusements are forbidden to them, they will find unlawful ones.

50 years ago: May 1949

Canadian Churchman reported that the future is truly big with possibilities. We are today in friendly relations with churches altogether foreign to us in race and different in traditions. It is clear, however, that the development will be something other than the expansion of the Anglican Communion as we have known it. But we hope that even though in some instances, and for the time, the bond may be loose, there will nevertheless emerge, in principle, an instalment of the final unity of the Catholic Church.

25 years ago: May 1974

Canadian Churchman reported that the Chairman of the Public Social Responsibility unit of General Synod, Mrs. Margetta Doyle, resigned her position as chairman. She said she has strong reservations about what she perceives to be an imbalance and a prevalence of prejudgment of people and positions. “I believe strongly in an objective and unbiased approach to information-seeking,” Mrs. Doyle said. “I have to work in an atmosphere where facts are sincerely arrived at. But if the church is to offer moral and ethical leadership in matters of social concern, there should be no question of the validity of that moral leadership.”…When talk in local (England) Anglican circles swings to the “10-to-1 long shot” it’s not likely to be about a favourite filly at the racetrack. Rather, the talk probably centres around the latest odds in the Archbishop’s Sweepstakes – the name of the man who will succeed Archbishop Michael Ramsey of Canterbury when he retires. Even Ladbroke’s has acceded to public demand and is accepting wagers from the man in the street. While church bureaucrats are arguing the merits of the present appointment system, the man in the street is more interested in placing a quid on the nose of his favorite bishop.


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