THE CHURCH AND LABOUR-A SYMPOSIUM IF the relations between the Church and Labour are to become more harmonious in future, according to the expressed desire of both parties, it is obvious that there must be a clearer definition of ideals and methods on both sides. The present antagonism is mainly due to misunderstanding, we are assured by the spokesman of both parties. To secure co-operation we must therefore reach agreement as to fundamental principles. Both parties have been challenged in the questionnaire to re- examine their aims amd nethods with a virw to discovering the road to reconciliation and common effort. It may well happen that in trying to define common purposes we shall arrive at a clearer realization of differences, but this need not lead to rivalry and fresh hostility. The differences, when they are clearly apprehended, may turn out to be complementary rather than exclusive, and the happy result may follow that unwise and unwarranted demands for surrender and capitulation will cease on both sides. Possibly both the Church and Labour have been wrong in the past in expecting to find, each in the other, a mere duplicate of itself. To pander to this expectation might only be a disservice in the long run. The Church might help Labour far more effectually by becoming a truly Christian Church than by limiting itself to a Trades Union programme. It is when the Church becomes less than Christian that it is most likely to become hostile to the real interests of Labour, just as it is when Labour fails to realize the profound spiritual implications of its economic and political demands that it is likeliest to fall foul of the true Church. Each should ask more rather than less of the other. In its own highest interest each should encourage the other to be its true self, for in that way each would be best fitted to help the other. A truly spiritual Church will want to express its spirituality within the economic and social order, and on the other hand a genuine passion for reform in the Labour groups will be directed by a spiritual interest of a broad human kind. At bottom, Labour feels that the redress of economic conditions is necessary in order that the human personality may develop itself to its utmost capacity. Labour and the Church will meet in the demand that man should be regarded as some- thing more than "a hand," a mere wealth-producing instrument. Thus a larger and clearer vision of its ideals brings each party nearer to the other, not by way of sur- render but rather by way of reconciliation through the recognition of common values and interests. If we steadily keep the larger ends in view differences of approach, of emphasis, and even of methods are tolerable, and may even be desirable. Once we lose sight of our ideals we begin to make a shibboleth of the means, and then intolerance sets in and the tendency to mutual excommunication. There is imperative need therefore that both parties should be pushed back from their shibboleths and dogmas to their ideals, to the ultimate sources of their inspiration. Let us now see what the response is to this challenge. We may begin with the more drastic views advanced by III.-COMMON PURPOSES the left wing of Labour. The suggestion that the Church and Labour may have common purposes is met in one case by a simple, emphatic, and final No." There is neither argument nor qualification of any kind and the writer belongs to both camps strangely enough, being a minister. Here are others "The Churches have no common purpose with Labour. The Church directs the attention of the people to another World that is to be. Labour directs the attention of the people to the things in this world, here and now." There is no common purpose between us and a Church which is either blind to the present social and industrial system or sanctifies it in the name of religion or evades the whole difficulty by insisting upon the cult of the soul and a heaven hereafter. I hope for the future of the Labour movement that there is not, or cannot be, a common purpose under such conditions. "No. The conscious part of the Labour movement is out to own and control the means of production. The objective of the Church gets lost in the clouds of vague phrases which may mean anything. Labour needs a new religion. Dogmas made 2,000 years ago are obsolete and absurdly unsuitable for present day life. An enlightened religion is in my opinion the world's greatest need. I do not think there is much in common between Labour and the Church to-day." Labour has the great purpose of raising the social status of the working class. The Churches show no signs of making it the common cause. Labour looks forward whilst the Church points to what has been accomplished and is content to float idly on the current of traditional usage." The Labour Movement stands for practical Christianity, not only in the world to come, but now. The Churches apparently ignore the present and devote their energies only for the future. These are the opinions of a group of men who, as they look towards the churches of to-day, have either already yielded to despair or are on the verge of doing so. They do not appear to know what some of our younger ministers and laymen in the churches are thinking and doing. If they retort that one swallow does not make a summer in the present frigid condition of our Church life they may be told with some confidence that there is a little more counting of swallows to do than they have realized. No one will claim that the summer is here but there is undoubtedly some promise of an earlier spring than is expected in some quarters of the Labour world Let us turn next to some more hopeful utterances Yes I think there is a great bond between the Labour Movement and the Churches. Both have as their message a spirit of Inter- nationalism which finds its inspiration in a common belief in the brotherhood of man and the unity of humanity, and should lead to the setting up of machinery and the creating of a spirit which will result in disarmament and in peaceful methods of settling inter- national relationships." The parable of the Good Samaritan and most of Christ's teaching make it clear that the well-being of the people was his second great command. This is also Labour's great aim." The first duty of the Churches should be to proclaim courageouly that the part played by Labour is simply giving an economic inter- pretation of the Gospel. They should demonstrate that the lot of the workers is not what the lowly Nazarene laboured for. They should declare that spiritual regeneration is impossible unless