Page 3, 19th February 1971

19th February 1971
Page 3
Page 3, 19th February 1971 — Cranmer a devious loyalty

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Locations: Seville, London


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Cranmer a devious loyalty


Hepton objected to being burned at the stake, albeit fictitiously and "off" the television screen. On Wednesday, millions of viewers following the BBC-2 sequel to the highly-praised series, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII," learned that the Reformation hero, Thomas Cranmer, had met his earthly end under the heresy laws.

The 45-years-old Bradford born actor so enjoyed working in the original series, which was filmed in 1969, he was genuinely sorrynot to have been able to "stay on" in the plays dealing with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Like many actors who play an historical figure, he insists on finding out as much about him as possible — "otherwise you cannot be faithful to the character." lh this case it proved a sort of ecumenical exercise, as Hepton now has more sympathy for Crammer than he had before.

"He appeared as a very devious man, but he did have this absolute loyalty to the King. In that day and age, the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings was very strong. and we just cannot appreciate that today. This loyalty of his was an absolute straight line running through his character."

Bernard Hepton recalls that during his schooldays at the Catholic Grammar School of St. Bede's, Bradford. he was not very good at history. But he did play the role of St. Thomas More in the play "A Man for All Seasons" in 1957.

Comparing More and Cranmer in the light of his researches, he said "I found things to admire about them both, as well as things I was not so sure about. These days, thank God, we are beginning to be able to see both sides in history."

Hepton lives for his profession. He forsook a successful career of directing and producing with BBC Television to return to the acting he cannot do without, although it took him several years to reestablish himself.

"I find a lot of my thinking time is taken up by the theatre even when not actually observing people and working up a particular part." But he still finds some time for occasional hill walking.

After leaving school, he qualified as an aircraft fitter at Yeadon, Yorkshire, and stilt finds aircraft fascinating. "I think they're magnificent machines." His eyesight ensured that his war service was limited to one day in the Black Watch.

On the vexed question of whether people should choose the stage as a career, he considers that if anyone has real talent, nothing can really stop them making headway, as well over 90 per cent of those in the profession do not, in his opinion, have real talent.

Colourful rodents

THE higher colleges of education are not noted as bastions of moderation. Quite apart from sporadic lock-outs, sit-ins, demos and protests groups of shaggy young men and shabby young women stalk the corridors of learning, peddling such organs of apocalyptic radicalism as Red Mole. Oz, International Titnes, Friends, and Red Rat (a North American animal.)

St. 'Mary's Teacher Training College. Strawberry Hill, Twickenham — or rather one of its students, Duncan McGibbon — has had a major share in adding a quite different animal, with the initially alarming title "Blue Rat," to this menagerie.

Neither a herald of the new permissiveness nor an organ of Conservatism, it advocates moderation towards students' problems in particular, and social problems in general: McGibbon chairs an editorial board drawn from a handful of colleges throughout the country.

Among the contributors have been Joseph Neeham,

left-wing academic, and John Biggs-Davison, stentorian voice of right-wing conservatism There have been three issues of Blue Rat. so-called in opposition to ithe violence-inciting Red Rat, since last summer. Eventually the backers hope to produce at -on a more regular basis. It sells -at two -shillings.

Journalism is in the blood of the McGibbon family, as Mr. McGibbon senior is editor or Catholic Education Today.

Young, but growing fast

THAT lusty infant among the myriad organisations scattered throughout the Catholic Church in Britain. the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is thriving steadily.

From November 1969 to November last year it collected £273,510 from Catholics for the underdeveloped countries. In the same period CAFOD paid out £246,722 to self-help projects in these countries.

At the end of the year, 211 life-improving projects in 42 countries were being fostered compared with just over 200 in the previous year. Increased

office space at CAFOD's recently-occupied new headquarters at 75 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, London, S.W.1, reflects this steady growth.

Noel Charles. CAFOD's administrator. is particularly proud of the fact that in spite of the growing administrative load. only 3i-p(8d.) in every pound is spent on fund raising and administration. The huge inter denominational agencies who can profitably advertise to a much wider public have to spend a greater proportion of their income in this way.

OXFAM, for instance, spends 181p. in the pound. Save the Children Fund 14-1-p. in the pound, and Help the Aged 5p. in the pound.

r_iumouR, ii appears, is AA lust as hazardous in the Catholic Press of Spain as in its British counterpart.

A mild joke about the religious confraternity devoted to Seville's Virgin of the Maarrena brought in strong letters protesting about alleged irreveronce to Our Lady on the part of the editor of the religious quality weekly La Vida Nueva.

Strongest of all was a letter from a woman under the nom de plume "Macarena." It said: "Fr. Martin Descalzo, die as soon as you like, your passport to 11911 is ready." Er. Martin replied: "Either the authoress does not abound in imagination or she has an office specialising in passports to Hell."

Fund raising Felicity

INO one could accuse Felicity Ann Croft, who organised a fund-raising reception recently for the Cheshire Foundation at New Zealand House, of not having a varied background.

She is a Cordon Bleu cook, specialising in freelance cooking; she worked for a year in the Lord Chamberlain's office at St. James's Palace helping to organise Buckingham Palace garden parties; she is also a qualified chiropodist.

Among the causes she has helped through fund-raising events are Fr. Borelli's House of Urchins Fund and the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development. She was educated at the Holy Child Convent, Cavendish Square.

Felicity Ann Croft gained her organising experience through running some school dances and also helping the League of Christ the King with a fund-raising function. She also travels widely in South Africa, Rhodesia, the Middle East and America.

Frankness in the air

NEVER averse to trailing his coat, Fr. Peter Hebblethwaite, S.J., editor of the Month, has made comments which members of the Catholic Renewal Movement will consider distinctly uncomplimentary.

In a radio programme with a French Dominican, Fr. Coupe, he had said that the CRM, "Cardinal Heenan's unwanted baby," having originally sprung from opposition to the encyclical, had too narrow a base from which to work. There were also many differences between members over what renewal of the Church should mean.

Fr. HebbIethwaite, discussing the programme which was broadcast in French in the BBC European Service, said that it concerned ecumenism, and that his remarks on the CRMwere made "en passant". "The phrase 'Cardinal Heenan's unwanted baby' I borrowed from Clifford Longley (a Times staff journalist and former chairman of the CRM); and Oliver Pratt had said the same thing to me about differences of opinion among its member" he said.

Fr. Hebblethwaite's conclusion was: "Somebody is being touchy about a programme they could not possibly have heard."

Mrs. Julie Roberts, joint secretary of CRM, who first raised the matter of the broadcast with the CATHOLIC HERALD. said that she had, in fact, listened to the programme at 12.30 on Thursday last week. "I heard a whisper about this programme," she said.

The language proved no barrier to Mrs. Roberts, a housewife and mother of four, as she lived in France where her husband, an agricultural economist, worked for seven years. She insisted that many who are now CRM members were concerned about renewal years before Humanae Vitae.

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