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Unfolding Destiny

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1981 edition
  • Pages:
  • 490
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Pages 184-187

Letter of 29 May 1946

29 May 1946
Dear Bahá’í Brother,
Your letters (and those previously written by Mrs. Ferraby (see endnote) as secretary) dated March 19th and 21st; April 12th and 23rd; and May 2nd and 11th, as well as their enclosures, have all been received, and the Guardian has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.
Regarding the various points which have been raised in these letters.
As he already informed you by cable, he sees no objection to substituting some other town for Cardiff if that has proved too unpromising….
People who for years have ceased to either attend meetings or show the slightest interest in the Cause can be dropped from the voting list; but any who are unable to attend meetings, but still 185 consider themselves to be Bahá’ís and are desirous of keeping up their contact with the Faith, should naturally be kept on the voting list.
He feels at the present stage of the Cause’s development in England it is perhaps wiser not to make any hard and fast rules about the boundaries of towns for assembly purposes. However, you should bear in mind that in the future some proper delineation will be necessary.
As to the question of the Publishing Trust about quoting excerpts from some of the Meditations; there is no objection to this at all.
He hopes you will be able to find some suitable quarters in London for your Bahá’í Centre; he considers that at the present time, with the heavy and essential teaching programme you have undertaken, it is out of the question to purchase headquarters.
The Guardian takes the keenest interest in your Six Year Plan, and he wishes me to point out to you certain things in this connection: if the important goals of new Assemblies are to be achieved, he feels you will have to organise the work on a new basis. England now stands, one might say, on the brink of a new phase of its Bahá’í life; the long years of war are over, the friends are not only awakened to a sense of their responsibilities, but have increased in numbers, in zeal, and in unity; there is a growing number of people who are anxious to do pioneer work. What is needed is a planned and consistent form of teaching and administrative support of the activities your Assembly is inaugurating.
He feels the time has come when the British Bahá’ís’ resources are sufficient to enable them to embark on their teaching campaign in a manner similar to that already followed by the American and Indian Bahá’ís. In other words pioneers who volunteer for work, if they are not able to support themselves, should be supported by the National Fund until they either find work or their task is completed.
Likewise travelling teachers should be assisted financially to carry out the “projects” assigned to them. The friends should not for a moment confuse this type of support with the creation of a paid clergy. Any Bahá’í can, at the discretion of the N.S.A., receive this necessary assistance and it is clearly understood it is temporary and only to carry out a specific plan. Bahá’u’lláh 186 Himself has not only enjoined on everyone the duty of teaching His Faith, but stated if you cannot go yourself, to send someone in your stead. The National Assembly, through and with its Teaching Committee, should take immediate steps to get pioneers out into the goal towns and teachers circulating about, to not only support and inaugurate the new work, but to stimulate the existing Assemblies and groups, and help them to expand.
He hopes that your Assembly, unitedly and with complete dedication to the great work that lies ahead of you, will concentrate all your forces on the teaching work. You may be sure he will pray for your success in the Holy Shrines, and that all the British Bahá’ís may realise to the full their historic responsibilities and arise to discharge them….
P.S. Your letter of May 29th has since been received and the extra photos of N.S.A. members will be forwarded to America.
[From the Guardian:]
Dear and valued co-workers,
The activities of the English Bahá’í community in pursuance of the Plan, which in its scope and potentialities is wholly unprecedented in the history of the Faith in the British Isles, are now approaching a critical stage, and will, if not relentlessly expanded and consolidated, fall far short of their ultimate objective. They have now entered the third year of their Plan, and the work that still remains unaccomplished is considerable, but not beyond what their united and sustained endeavours can accomplish. The utmost support, if the Plan is to yield its promise, should be continually and increasingly extended to every pioneer, both moral and financial, who will arise to contribute his or her share to its success. All the institutions of the Faith so laboriously erected since the inception of the Formative Age, most of the financial resources of the community that have been accumulated, the deliberations of the elected representatives of the entire body of the believers, both local and national, should henceforth be dedicated to the vital requirements and noble aims of an enterprise which, if successful, will pave the way, and provide the necessary agencies, for the proclamation of the Faith to the masses throughout the British Isles.
The Faith is too circumscribed at present, its resources too limited, its range too restricted, and the number of its active supporters too few, to allow a systematic and nation-wide campaign designed to awaken the masses, to be effectively inaugurated. The present Plan is but a 187 stepping stone that must lead eventually the English believers to execute so tremendous and meritorious an undertaking. The duties and responsibilities now facing them must, however, be fully discharged. No time or effort should be wasted. All, young and old, must be aroused to a new consciousness of their collective responsibilities. A greater measure of self-sacrifice, a greater audacity, a greater reliance on the sustaining grace of Bahá’u’lláh, are required to lend the necessary impetus to the progressive unfoldment and ultimate fruition of this dynamic process which the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, labouring in the heart of a world encircling empire, have set in motion. May signal success crown their historic labours.