Parish priest leads service By a Staff Reporter N just about the most miserable London Sunday afternoon for months, over 15,000 men and women, headed by Cardinal Griffin and four Bishops, crowded into Trafalgar Square and stood in squally rain and wind to pray for a satisfactory outcome of the crisis threatening the existence of Catholic schools.
From the suburbs and Home Counties, quite a number of fathers and mothers brought young children with them—little bundles of overcoats wrapped up in coloured mackintoshes, with eyes and noses peeping out of weatherproof hoods.
A fine sunny morning had given way to a bleak damp February afternoon.
Three-quarters of an hour before the service began at 3.35, hundreds of men and women were standing in the wind beneath the plinth. Fifteen minutes later the 'number had been doubled — and rain was falling. At 3.30 this part of the crowd was at least 60 deep in a cuptie like crush, keeping each other
Arriving an hour early, Women made a grandstand of the portico of the National Gallery. They remained high and dry.
It was a highly-disciplined crowd. determined to underline the religious and spiritual nature of the assembly and keep out anything that might give it the character of a political demonstration.
In spite of the black and grey clouds and the dank atmosphere it was also a colourful and even gaylooking assembly, the drab grey and black overcoats of the men—in the majority as they were at the Albert Hall rally—lightened and brightened by the women's and girls' green, red, blue and brange transparent weatherproofs and umbrellas.
Two small boys sheltered from the wind behind one massive lion at the corner of the plinth and two little girls beside the lion on the other side—representatives, as it were, of all the Catholic children of today and of the future for whom the school campaign is being fought.
Wires from two microphones on the plinth were fixed in the mouths of these massive lions. and Carried over to back page