ONLY the impractical—even though enthusiastic— would suggest "shelter" in presbyteries, as does your correspondent of December 16. The homeless, alas. are generally the inadequate—a fact known to many social workers. Why should the clergy give up what may be their greatest worldly wealth—peace, quiet and a little space, though such may lack modern decor and heat. What of the problem of two women in one kitchen?
Alternatively, who is to pay for the provision of alternative amenities? Then, how would the poor parish priest be branded if, after "trying it" and finding the situation unbearable, he then had recourse to the court for an order to evict, as indeed he would need under the present Rent Act? Who is to defend his integrity?
The Family of Bethlehem was not homeless in the now accepted sense of the word— merely without accommodation on a particular night during a visit— an oft-met difficulty as any traveller knows. Emotion must not override common sense and practicality.
V. McAteer (Mrs.) Bournville.
WE are most grateful for your notice on your leader page on Dec. 16, No joy for Cinderella'. Nothing comes amiss that can help us to raise money to increase the number of beds at St. Andrew's Hospital, Dollis Hill, N.W.2, so that the devoted Blue Nuns can continue to teach others to nurse with the skill and love that is theirs.
Perhaps it is too much to hope that your readers. disappointed in their application for tickets for Cinderella will send the Hospital donations? The fact is that owing to various complications. which had nothing to do with the working party organising the sale of tickets, our many friends heard rather late about the preview. Once the news had gone round we were deluged by demands for seats (the prices were from 12/6 to three guineas).
It is further only fair to our many supporters to say that. though Twang!! was a sad loss to its Producer, St. Andrew's Hospital gained over £5,000 gross and our expenses were low owing to the generosity of Mr. Bernard Delfont in giving us the theatre free. This he and Mr. Leslie MacDonell have done again this year.
I should be most grateful if you could find room for this letter in your columns.
Madeleine Devlin, Chairman entr a I Committee, St. Andrew's Hospital Appeal, N.W.2.
IF Mr. H. R. F Keating can not do better with opera than his remarks about Billy Budd (December 16) would it not be better if he left it alone? I make no comment on what he says about the music of Britten, of whom he gave me the impression that he was hearing for the first time; but if the tale was for him "buried deep under heaps of unheard words" he certainly needs a hearing-aid.
And does he seriously suggest that during the televised performance of an opera the cameras should spend any part of their time in the orchestral pit? Who, in the opera house, ever sees the orchestra? if the B.B.C.'s intention had been to produce this work as an essay in "Opera For Not Very Intelligent Beginners" Mr. Keating's article might have had some point. As it is, however. it was a nice example of ill-informed and ungenerous perversity.
Stephen Bagnall Manchester, 20.
y ENTIRELY agree with -L. your correspondent B. Smith, of Newcastle (December 16). We look to our Catholic Press for leadership in the observation of the Faith. and we dislike space wasted on letters and articles giving expression of queer opinions of misguided Catholics.
What do we want with Calvin and Marx? What can those outside the Church give us? Has the Church not all Truth? What sort of kindness is it that tries to give the impression to non-Catholics that they are doing very nicely where they are?
G. E. Yates Horsham, Sussex.