The World Jamboree of Boy Scouts 1929

The Archbishop of Canterbury arriving at the Thanksgiving Service


ARROWE PARK, Aug. 4, 1929

This day, August 4, of sinister yet glorious memory, has been a day of thanksgiving in which every Scout at the Jamboree camp has shared. And there have been events remarkable and even unique. When before has an Archbishop of Canterbury addressed so vast a congregation, for his sermon in the open air this morning was broadcast throughout the world? When before has an Archbishop of Canterbury been saluted with round upon round of cheering at the end of a religious service? When before have men and boys of so many races united in such numbers in a common act of worship? Much that will long be remembered has happened since the camp was opened by the Duke of Connaught on Wednesday, but no one here is likely to forget the inspiration of this day of thanksgiving.

Last night and right through the early morning rain fell in torrents. The roads were turned into sloughs, the rally ground became a quagmire. Breakfasts were eaten; as they have been too often before, in conditions of the most miserable kind. As the hour for holding the two great services, the one addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the other by Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, approached, the rain slackened, and finally stopped, but the damage had been done. Through mud ankle-deep the Scouts made their slow and difficult way from the sodden encampments to the two centres whore the services were to be held.

A few minutes before the service on the rally ground began, Sir Walford Davies, in a raincoat and gum boots, mounted the rostrum and rehearsed the first hymn, the music being played by the Gordon Boys’ Home band. Then at 11 o’clock the Archbishop’s procession, led by the flags of the nations, pushed slowly through the vast congregation of boys to the Royal Box, while the hymn "All Creatures of our God and King " was sung. A deaf and dumb Scout at my elbow repeated the words on his fingers. The flag-bearers took post on either side of the saluting base. The Scouts faced the stands, which were filled with visitors. The Archbishop, the clergy, the Chief Scout, and the principal officers took their place and the service began.

Intercessions and thanksgiving were led by the Rev. Pat Leonard, Scout Chaplain, Church of England. The Lesson, from the 12th chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel, was read by the Rev. J. H. Bateson, and there followed the recital of the Scout Law by Mr. Hubert Martin, International Commissioner. Prayer was offered by the Rev. George F. McLeod and the Lord’s Prayer was recited by the congregation. There followed the hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name," and then the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose voice was carried to the far corners of the arena by loud speakers, addressed the Scouts from the First Epistle of Timothy, chapter 6, verse 20. When the Archbishop came to the passage in which he, speaking directly to the Chief Scout, said, "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour," and invoked the blessing of God on him he placed his hand on the Chief Scout’s head in benediction and in doing so on the head of every boy that was listening to him.


"Stand up, stand up for Jesus," sung to the familiar tune "Morning Light," next filled the arena with music, and the Chief Scout spoke briefly on the brotherhood of service, and then called on the flagbearers to lower their flags and appealed to all to think over the Scout promise which he repeated to them: "On my honour I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and the King, to help other people at all times, to obey the Scout Law." He called on those willing to render service to their fellow men to hold up their hands, raise their flags and answer "I will." A great shout of assent was the response. Prayers for the King, the National Anthem, and the Blessing, pronounced by the Archbishop, brought the service to a close. Before it was over, however, there was a fresh deluge of rain, but the Scouts stood their ground. They cheered the King, the Archbishop, and the Chief Scout, and then remained while the Chief Scout said a few words to the veterans of the movement.


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Robert Baden-Powell and Cardinal Bourne

At the High Mass of thanksgiving for Roman Catholics in the recreation ground Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, presided and preached. The celebrant was Canon Rooney, of Birkenhead. The Bishop of Shrewsbury was present, and the assistants at the throne were Canon Kelly and Canon Haslehurst. The proper of the Mass was sung by a special choir of Scouts from Birkenhead and Liverpool. The "Te Deum" was sung after Mass.


Reprinted from The Times, London, 1929

Return to

Return to the Pine Tree Web Home Page

Your feedback, comments and suggestions are appreciated.
Please write to: Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1997
Last Modified: 11:00 PM on September 25, 1997