AMESSAGE of greeting and commendation from Pope Paul has been received by the Save the Children Fund on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. It is the fund's second commendation from a Pope. the first being from Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
Pope Benedict made history by commending, for the first time, a non-Catholic society in an encyclical letter with which he coupled an exhortation to all Christians to respond to a Holy Innocents' Day appeal for funds.
Now. Pope Paul has written personally from the Vatican to Viscount Boyd of Merton. president of the fund, sending
warm greetings and offering his good wishes "to all associated in any way with the Save the Children Fund, invoking abundant divine blessings."
DEAR TO US The Pope wrote:
"Founded in Great Britain to help children in distress after the First World War, the Save the Children Fund has spread its activities throughout the world wherever afflicted boys and girls need aid . . . Such work to help the needy and distressed is very dear to us.
"Throughout the world we see and feel the sufferings and urgent necessities of couptless innocent victims of human degradation and tragedy, and we readily extend the hand of friendship to your association, which is able to assist effectively so many of these helpless children."
The Save the Children Fund, which helps sick and needy children throughout the world irrespective of their colour, race or religion, has worked through its medical. nursing and welfare teams in nearly 100 countries since it was formed by Miss Egla n ty ne Jebb in 1919,
Its work has cost more than £20 million, nearly all of which has been raised from voluntary sources in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth countries overseas. Soon after it was founded Miss Jebb was granted an audience by Pope Benedict, who ordered the first collection for SCF to be taken in all Catholic churches on Holy Innocents' Day in 1919.
The fund's thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral on Monday brought together dignitaries from nearly 30 of the world's churches in a congregation of 2,000. The sermon was preached by the Anglican Bishop of Coventry, and the service included the first performance of a new work by Benjamin Britten, "Children's Crusade," which he wrote to mark the fund's jubilee year.
The work was sung by the choir and instrumentalists of Wandsworth Boys' School under the conductorship of Mr. Russell Burgess.