BY A STAFF REPORTER RELIGIOUS communities in Birmingham are this year planning a bigger-than-ever drive to promote racial harmony. From October 17 to 24, a "People to People Week" has been organised, during which extraordinary efforts will be made to help members of all sects to understand the religions and motivations of others.
Among bodies involved will he the Baptists, Quakers, German Lutherans, Methodists, Hindus, Arabs, Anglicans, Greek Orthodox, Jamaicans, Jews, .Sikhs and Catholics.
On the Catholic side, a great deal of work to persuade Church members to take part in the "People to People Week" has been done by Fr. A. I. B. Brown, curate at St. Joseph's, Nechells, but he emphasises that many people of all faiths and races work "like Trojans" in the city to promote race relations.
The "People to People Week" has been held in previous years, but in 1971 more money is being spent on publicity and promotion than ever before. Organisations concerned are the Community Relations Committee and its offshoot, The People to People Council, and a body called All Faiths for One Race.
Money has been found, in particular, for an attractively produced brochure listing the events of the Week. Responsible for this was Mr. John Plummer, a young business man who devotes all his free time to the furtherance of community relations.
He has been so successful in maintaining harmony between Asian groups in Birmingham, that religious leaders in the city. including Archbishop Dwyer, sent him to Pakistan in order that he could make a first hand report on the situation there. He was not allowed to stay in the country, however, but on arrival in Karachi was sent back by the Pakistan authorities on the next plane.
PROCESSION The main object of the "People to People Week" is to involve people in the many parts of the city and surrounding areas who are not particularly affected by racial problems.
In all, 33 events are arranged for the nine days, ranging from International music and dancing in a Baptist Church, an Indian dinner in a Hindu temple, a civic reception, a concert at St. Chad's Cathedral, an interfaith forum, a talk about Judaism in a synagogue, a wine and cheese party given by the Jamaican community, and a "Meet the Sikh" programme at a Sikh temple.
Finale of the "People to People Week" will be an International Procession on Sunday, October 24. from St. Philips Square to the Town Hall.
Programmes can be obtained from The Community Relations Committee, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham.
(from page I) year at 3,000,000 tons of grain — four times what the Pakistant g vernment has promised to pro ide.
A C ritas team which toured both E st Pakistan and refugee camps in India said an estimated 800,000 out of 1,500,000 refugee children were suffering from varying degrees of malnutrition.
"For 100,000 of them it is probably already too late," the fact-finders reported. "Between 300,000 and 500,000 are condemned to death within the next four months if adequate measures are not taken ..."
The Vatican newspaper L' Cosset. vatore Romano devoted three of its eight pages on Monday to an appeal for aid to East Pakistanis. Almost the whole front page was devoted to the Pope's appeal. The report on the Synod of Bishops was at the bottom of the page.
PLEA TO GOVERNMENT The English and Welsh Commission for International Justice and Peace has called on the British Government "to make a firm commitment for assistance of not less than £25 million (which is I per cent of our annual defence budget) until such time as the present crisis has been resolved."
This appeal is part of a public statement issued by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, which was set up by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales under the chairmanship of Bishop Grant of Northampton.
The statement, issued after a weekend meeting in London, goes on to speak to the Government of Pakistan : "Furthermore the Commission makes an urgent plea to the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to create in East Pakistan conditions of respect for basic human rights which would enable the enormous refugee population to return to their homeland."
Since last March world Catholic agencies have spent some six million pounds, 15 per cent of the world total, on relief for refugees in the area. Archbishop John Murphy of Cardiff, vice-chairman of the Hierarchy, has asked that proceeds from the Sunday special collections be sent to the Apostolic Delegation in London or to any approved charity such as the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD).
Bishop Grant's letter—p,6