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The Darkest Hour film about Sir Winston Churchill, produced by Universal Pictures and starring Gary Oldman, is dramatic and gripping, and it captures well the gravity of the national crisis in 1940. Sadly, however, it makes an appalling historical omission. Seeing that the film progresses on a date by date basis through May 1940, and that King George VI plays a considerable role, it is deeply troubling that no mention is made of the most crucial event of all which occurred on May 26th, the day before the Dunkirk evacuation began, namely the national day of prayer called for by the King himself. 


Both Churchill and his wife were present at the special service at Westminster Abbey on this day, which was also attended by the King and Queen, and by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. There were large queues outside of the Abbey indicating the enormous response more generally to this time of prayer throughout the country. 


For example, the Suffolk-based Beccles and Bungay Newspaper tells us that 1400-1500 people gathered in the parish church, and that this was ‘one of the biggest congregations in living memory’. The minister referred in his sermon to literally millions of people being gathered upon that day in churches and chapels, not only throughout Britain, but also around the world. On May 27th a headline in the Daily Record and Mail declared, ‘King leads his people in day of prayer’.


So why is such a significant event left out of Darkest Hour, just as it was also left out of the recent Dunkirk film? Immediately following the day of prayer, there unfolded the miracle of Dunkirk whereby remarkable changes in the weather facilitated the evacuation of over 330,000 soldiers. Britain was being dreadfully humbled by a powerful enemy, but many who had perhaps been careless spiritually were at least now willing, in the nation’s hour of great need, to cry out to God. 


Is politically correct secular Britain now too ashamed to acknowledge in its history the hand of the Trinitarian God? After all, it was Churchill himself who referred to the nation’s survival as being “of deep consequence to Christian civilisation”. Must Christianity now be airbrushed out of our national story?   


The Bible makes it plain that the affairs of nations are determined by God, and that He will honour those governments and peoples who honour Him. Modern Britain must return to the Christian gospel, and this means that each individual must acknowledge personal sin and turn in repentance and faith to the only Saviour of men, the Lord Jesus Christ.   


 “Righteousness exalteth a nation …  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” 

(Proverbs 14:34 and Psalm 33:12)


To purchase a booklet on there two national days of prayer IN 1940 - entitled, HOW GOD RESCUED A NATION - please click on the image below


Click on image to purchase a copyClick on image to purchase a copy



© Copyright 2018. Pastor Peter Simpson, Minister of Penn Free Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire.