Christian card game made by The Mothers' Union, an organisation started in mid-Victorian England and now a worldwide sisterhood.
The game is a set collecting game but unlike quartet games, the sets have different numbers of cards in them. For example,Fasts has three cards - Lent, Advent, Fridays; but Prayer has five cards - Adoration, Thanksgiving, Confession, Petition and Intercession. There are 10 sets in all and List cards are provided to help players know how many cards are needed.
The procedure for collecting the cards is traditional. In your turn, you may ask any player for any card from a set that you already have at least one card from that set. You go on until you are unsuccesful, then the turn passes to the left. There are minor extra rules relating to courtesy and mistakes. Full sets are laid out on the table and are now 'Safe'. It says that once all sets have been collected, each player scores for each set in front of them, 1 point for every card in your collection (which means the larger sets are more difficult to collect but will score more points.)
The presentation is very unusual. There is no doubt that this is a properly published game, not an amateur production. Yet the cards have very basic illustrations and all text is as if it had been handwritten. I suppose they wanted to give the impression that it was illustrated at Sunday School (which might actually be true).
THE CHURCH GAME
1. The cards are divided into sets numbered 1 to 10. Each set consists of a LIST card (no picture) and PICTURE cards, whose names appear all together on the LIST card.
2. Different Sets contain different numbers of cards. The Winner of the game is the person who has collected the greatest number of cards (not sets) after an agreed number of hands.
3. Players cut for deal, the person cutting a card bearing the highest number is the dealer but should two cut the same highest number they cut again until one is
higher than the other. Thereafter the deal passes to the original dealers left.
4. The cards are dealt out singly beginning at the dealer's left. This may result in one or more players having an extra card to begin with but this is immaterial.
5. The game begins with the dealer asking any player for ANY card by name belonging to a set of which he already has one or more cards. E.g. having in his hand the List Card "Greater Sacraments” he might ask someone for “Baptism"; or having Maniple he might ask for Vestments (the List Card); or Alb (which belongs to the same set).
6. Before every request the player making it must say “Please” and after a successful one he must say “Thank You”. If he forgets to do either his turn is immediately forfeit; if the latter he must also return the last card so obtained.
7. After a successful request a player may make a further one and continue until either he is unsuccessful or forgets to say “Please" or “Thank You". In this case the turn passes to the player on his left and so on round the group.
8. As soon as a player has a complete set he lays them on the table in front of him and they are thenceforth
"Safe" (i.e. none can take them from him).
9. A player must not (with the single exception of Rule 10 below) ask for a card belonging to a set of which he has not at least one card already. Should he accidentally do so (i.e. by imagining that an Amice is a Greater Sacrament and asking for the latter on the strength of possessing the former) he must return the card and forfeit his turn.
10. If a player whose turn it is to ask finds himself without a single card in his hand he may ask for ANY card still in play (i.e. he is exempt from Rule 9). But as soon as he is successful and has a card in his hand Rule 9
11. When every card is "safe" the hand ends and players count the cards to their credit and score appropriately. The deal then passes as explained in Rule 3.
NOTE: When players are new to the game it is a help to familiarize them with the sets by giving them a list of the sets’ names and the numbers on them. These should be withdrawn as players’ become more familiar with them.