Front a Special Correspondent
An interesting experiment is being made in West Kent by the Orpington Christian Social Council representing seventeen churches
and bodies in the urban district. It has set up a Commission to investigate and report on the interest (or lack of it) of the community in Local Governtnen L.
The Commission is composed of five persons—an Anglican clergyman, three laymen, one a Catholic, and a woman member of the Society of Friends. It proposes to interrogate anti take evidence in public and private sessions during the comiug months from urban district council officials, local bodies and private individuals, in fact, anyone in the locality who is prepared to volunteer relevant information.
This is the outcome of the " Five
Standards Week " a week of public meetings addressed by leading Anglican. Catholic and Nonconformist speakers, preceded by an extensive press and poster campaign—which the Council held in Orpington in September.
It was the first Week to he held in this country devoted exclusively to the proposals for a Christian New Order agreed by the leaders of the Churches in Britain and set out in the famous letter to the Times of December 21, 1940. The Standards are the basis of the Council's Constitution and its aim is to promote a wider knowledge of them and to secure their practical application.
FAMILY CONSCIOUSNESS FIRST The Council actually had before it proposals for four other Commissions in addition to Local Government, The Catholic members, holding that the dominant question was the Birthrate and the Family, suongly advocated a Commission on this subject, and also one on post-war education in the district. Other members wanted Commissions on Local Town Planning and Hqusing and on Moral Welfare.
As the idea was very much in the nature of an experiment it was decided for the rttOment I.0 appoint only one Commission and to watch developments. Local Government was chosen in view of the deplorable apathy to it by the public-10 per cent. was mentioned as thc figure of voters who bothered to cast their votes at the last elections—and also because many of the problems in the other subjects proposed depended a great deal on good local government.
To gain first-hand impressions and in view of the charge that although there is frequent criticism of the actions of the urban district council only a single member of the general public ever attends the visitors' gallery to listen to the monthly council meetings, the whole Christian Council have de cided to attend the next meeting. It will also consider appointing a rota of members to attend the subsequent monthly meetings.
Au inaugural meeting of the C.P.E.A. of Edgware was held at St. James' Central School, Orange Hill Road, last Sunday afternoon, when Mr. R. Flaxman, ex-Master of the Catholic Evidence Guild, spoke to St. Anthony's congregation on the history of education as it concerned the Catholic Church in England.
A meeting of the East Mon. District Council C.Y.M.S. was held at St. Mary's, Newport, last Sunday, at which the chaplain gave an address on the White Paper on education. Officials have been appointed in the Caerphilly parish for the C.P.E.A.
The Archbishop of Liverpool will speak on " The danger to our Catholic schools." on November 3, at 6 o'clock, in Westminster Cathedral Hall. Admission free.
Over 700 members have now Joined the Kingston and district branch of the C.P.E.A., the figure aimed at being 2,000.