Good Friday Fair – Brands Conisbrough as Pagan Stronghold, Says Vicar

April 1946

South Yorkshire Times, 27th of April, 1946.

Good Friday Fair.
Brands Conisbrough as Pagan Stronghold, Says Vicar.

Strong condemnation of Conisbrough’s practice in permitting their annual fair to be held on Good Friday, and a call to the Urban Council to remedy the position, is contained in the monthly letter of the Vicar of Conisbrough, the Rev. G. Y. Braithwaite, in his Parish Magazine for May.

‘Insult to God.’

‘There’s one thing I don’t like about Conisbrough – the fair on Good Friday,’ Mr. Braithwaite says. ‘The cacophonous blare and its aftermath of rowdyism are an insult to God and a cynical comment on the greed which can allow no opportunity of profit-snatching to be neglected – not even on the most solemn day of mourning in the whole year.

”Where is the Christian spirit of our Urban District Council to permit such a violation of this sacred day? They cannot be indifferent. Are we to assume they are powerless? However that may be, the fair brands Conisbrough in the eyes of he world as a stronghold of materialistic paganism, whereas it is nothing of the kind. Let us hope that steps will be taken to end this recurrent offence to all right thinking people.

”Don’t misunderstand me. I like fairs and pleasure beaches. There’s nothing I enjoy more than to pay my bob, or whatever it is, and to be twirled and twisted in so different directions at the same time. Nor am I a strict  sabbatarian  I have little patience with the Lord’s Day Observance Society which tries to impose an artificial and outmoded ban upon all Sunday occupation other than purely religious, and would leave no scope for much-needed recreation.

Least We Can Do

”But Good Friday is up quite another street. On that the Saviour of mankind was done to death for our miserable sakes. He suffered that we might be free from the fear of death and the weight of sin. The least we can can is to commemorate that act of sacrifice with due mourning and solemnity on one day out of the 365. If we must have a fair, then even Easter Day, a day of rejoicing, would be more appropriate.

”We are hoping for the new world to be constructed upon the war-torn ruins of the old. An enduring fabric will never be raised on foundations of cynical materialism. To many in power today, social betterment is synonymous with material prosperity and pleasure for the people at all costs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Where reverence for the Higher Power and nourishment of man’s spiritual nature are absent, real happiness is as far away as ever it was.

”If you and I are the sincere Christians we profess to be, the time must come for us to make a stand against the encroachment of blatant worldliness upon the domain of the spirit. I am convinced that this Good Friday fair business is wrong. Then let us make our stand against it.”