Look Back in Time: Naive or noble? The Cold War comes to Falmouth church magazine

Look Back in Time: Naive or noble? The Cold War comes to Falmouth church magazine

Look Back in Time: Naive or noble? The Cold War comes to Falmouth church magazine

First published in Cornwall

As each day passes, so we move closer, it seems, to “Cold War II.” The first one (1946-91) led to a local man of the cloth causing quite a stir, writes Mike Truscott.

We were always mildly aware that “mutually-assured destruction” could suddenly end everything. That was the chilling prospect, with the United States and the former Soviet Union perilously poised, in theory at least, on the brink of nuclear war.

Into the ongoing debate about “the bomb,” in 1984, waded the then Rector of Falmouth, the Rev Preb Peter Boyd, who raised eyebrows with the force of his argument and his choice of outlet for it.

In the Falmouth Parish Church Magazine, he wrote: “The few atomic weapons we possess are not significant in terms of the arsenal of the super-powers.

“To renounce them and to give them up unilaterally is a moral gesture that will enable us to live with ourselves more easily in terms of Christian conscience. I don't believe for a moment that it will result in the armed invasion of the UK by the Soviet Union.

“It seems quite clear to me that the possession of such immense powers of destruction is the greatest immorality.

“We in this country ought to try and break the log jam between the super-powers by saying we shall defend ourselves by weapons we can control, but not by those weapons that are a total denial of our humanity.”

Mr Boyd said he was “just writing as an individual,” but an unnamed housewife said it was “the last word in naivety.”

Another parishioner complained: “Nuclear weapons have kept the peace for 36 years. The parish magazine should not be used to take sides on such a controversial question.”

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