Roots in Bayswater
Irish secular newspapers arc no longer being sold at the church of St Mary of the Angels in Bayswater, West London. Priests at thc church have decided that parishioners should not in future be confronted by the array of papers some of them from tiny Irish counties which once covered the entrance railings.
One of the priests, Fr Adrian Walker, explained that the move was a symptom of wider change in the parish. "All you saw was county papers", he said. "When you saw a Catholic church what you saw was Irish.
"We're asking people to get their roots down in Bayswater. The only way Christ can walk in Bayswater is by asking people to get their roots into Bayswater."
Fr Walker added that the decision had already borne fruit. Since the changeover, he said, the church was constantly sold out of the Catholic Herald.
Christians and Jews
The annual general meeting of the Council for Christians and Jews was chaired this year by the Chief Rabbi of the Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain, Dr Emmanuel Jakobovits. It was held on Wednesday of last week at The King David Suite of the famous Marble Arch Synagogue.
In the course of his opening remarks. the Chief Rabbi commented on the departure after
many years of fruitful service of the Council's General Secretary, the Rev William Simpson. Mr Simpson had held this post with great distinction since 1942. and though his refireMent was regretted it was made up for by the fact that he would be continuing to serve the Council as General
Secretary Emeritus. .
Among others on the platform were the Chief Rabbi's fellow vice-presidents, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Heenan. The former made a warm tribute to the retiring General Secretary.
Also announced and equally regretted was the forthcoming retirement of the council's publications officer for the last 13 years. Mrs Joan Lawrence. Her work had been prodigious and unflagging. and she had managed successfully to combine this with acting as secretary to the Religious Weekly Press Group whose chairman for the past two years was the former Catholic Herald editor. Gerard Noel.
Cardinal Heenan moved the vote of thanks to the two guest speakers, Canon A. Peter Hall of Birmingham and Dr I. Levy of Hampstead. Their speeches brought out the difficulties and challenges of the council's work at branch level: in Birmingham with a multi-racial position not helped bs the absence of whites from local meetings: and, as seen from Hampsthad, the need for greater co-ordination between perimeter and centre, as well as for more vigorous pronouncements by the council when important moral matters came up in the news.
The Cardinal pointed out the difficulty of .making protests which involved an apparent taking of political sides. But this
did not invalidate Dr Levy's point about the need for forthrightness when purely moral considerations were involved.
The chairman of the executive committee. the Ven Carl Witton-Davies, Archdeacon of Oxford, presented a report which exhibited progress and good omens for the future. The reactions to the meeting of a large and distinguished gathering of prominent Christians and Jews underlined the ongoing importance of the special work of the council.
The communities of Ampleforth and Mirfield (Community of the Resurrection) are' organising a conference at Mirfield, Yorkshire, in September on the working of the Holy Spirit in the Church today. It has special reference to the Charismatic Renewal which is becoming an important aspect of all Christian denominations.
A spokesman for the organisers said the conference would explore the scriptural, psychological and _pastoral bases and implications of the Renewal. He said discernment. objectivity and openness were the aims of the organisers.
They would be assisted by scripture scholars (Fr John Ashton. Si, and Dr Cunliffe Jones), a psychologist (Fr Louis Marteau) and other clergy, Fr Ian Petit. OSB, the Rev Colin Urquhart and the Rev Graham Pulkingham).
Fr Peter Hocken, of Oscott College, will contribute a paper. on prayer, traditional and "charismatic."
The conference is designed for Catholic and Protestant clergy, for members of religious orders, and laity with pastoral responsibility. It takes place from September 2 to 6.
Plea for a disc
Holy Cross Priory, at Heathfield, Sussex, which is the he:adouarters of House of Hospitality, the organisation which cares for 300 old people in its various homes, is urgently in, need of funds, and Peggy. Blunt, the appeals organiser, has had the idea of getting some pop group or individual singer to "donate a disc."
She points out that last year the Spinners raised over £3,000 for Mother Teresa, and James Last has now donated the proceeds of a souvenir double album to Oxfam and cancer research.
She asks anyone with ideas, or contacts in the world of entertainment, to write to her at Holy Cross Priory, Cross-inHand, Heathfield, Sussex.
The charity, she says, is heavily in debt for necessary items such as installing lifts and reroofing. In addition, £40,000 is still owed on the geriatric nursing unit opened last year at the priory, which is already looking after 20 old people needing intensive care.
Week of prayer
An ecumenical Week of Prayer for World Peace will be held throughout Britain from October 20 to 27. The organisers, who include Fr Tom Corbishley, SJ, chose that week because United Nations Day is on October 24.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey, will preach at the inaugural service at Westminster Abbey. The organisers said they hoped the week would provide an annual occasion for Christians and members of other faiths to study their attitude toward the issues involved in modern warfare.
There will be a need, they said, to study "those contemporary problems which lead to conflict, the issues that create injustice, notably world poverty and the denial of human rights, and those factors such as race, colour, political ideology, economic status and language which separate people from one another."
Daily prayer and study leaflets for individual or corporate use arc being made available for each day of the week. Vigils for racial harmony will be held on October 22 and 23 throughout Britain.
Pax Christi walk
About 300 young people from all over Europe will be arriving in London on Thursday, July 25, at the invitation of the British section of Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement. They are corning here to spend eight days walking through the countryside of southern England, praying and discussing the theme "Europe: for itself or others?" a topic which will 'cover questions of aid, trade, armaments, minorities and immigration.
The walkers will be split up into ten groups converging on Brighton from Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. Pax Christi's London secretary, Valerie Flessati, is hoping that families in villages along the way will offer overnight accommodation, as has been the case with previous "routes" through Ireland and Spain.
The purpose of the route and of two work-camps which will take place simultaneously is to inform the participants and those with whom they stay about issues of human concern. Pax Christi says that previous experience in other countries has shown that these two-yearly events can arouse a great deal of interest and enthusiasm to do something about the issues discussed.