HAVE we forgotten what a real emergency feels like?

On May 26, 1940 the plight of 335,000 soldiers trapped at Dunkirk faced the nation.

At the request of King George VI, a national day of prayer was held at Westminster Abbey, and in response to his inspiring broadcast millions flocked to the churches to pray throughout the Commonwealth.

On May 27 the German High Command boasted: "The British Army is encircled, our troops are proceeding to its annihilation."

We know the story of the darkest hour so well. They were all rescued "out of the jaws of death and shame".

What is less well remembered is that during the 1939-45 war, no fewer than seven national days of prayer were called: seven emergencies that brought our nation together, to pray!

Since then we have built our secular new order and God has been completely left out.

Keeping God at arm's length can be expensive. A hole has appeared in our pockets that our individual wealth and national Treasury cannot solve.

The councils of Penrith, Keswick and Barrow have recently got serious about the climate.

Announcing an ‘emergency’ (incredulous to some), we are asked to believe we can take control of the weather!

If a real crisis ever comes, heaven help us if we’ve forgotten how to pray.

R Hall