From a Special Correspondent
THE small town of Pershore in Worcestershire has held a festival in which all sections and groups of the community played a part.
The festival covered drama (Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral"), music and the visual arts. Solemn Vespers and Benediction sung by the Birmingham Catholic Choir was attended by a considerable number of nonCatholics in the town.
The whole venture has been a great success. Not only was the standard achieved in the various arts a high one but what is more important the event brought the community together itt a way it had never known before. Catholics worked alongside Anglicans and those Slf little or no religion in the greatest amity and a spirit of goodwill has prevailed throughout.
The success of the festival is not to be measured by the numbers of those who attended the various events or came front outside the town. The most important result was that the festival created a spirit of community.
Nor was it without relevance from a religious point of view. It was churchpeople who initiated the festival and it Was they who played the greater part in it. And
they consciously were reaching out to all those who in the town are normally untouched by church activities.
Bridges have been built, friendships formed, which will provide opportunities for more specifically religious work later on. The fact that local Catholics were able to play a full part in the festival is not without significance and their co-operation was sought and welcomed.
What will be the tong term results it is impossible to say but at least it can be said that the Catholic parish is firmly integrated into the local community and is making a contribution to its life.