THE programme for Friday, March 23, at the Kingston Empire, one of London's best known music halls, would astonish most of its usual patrons.
A few of the words are familiar. Someone, for instance, is to "present" a play, and the author's name is given ; at the bottom of the first page is the usual announcement : "Programme . . . Sixpence.'
But stretching the length and breadth of the page is a Violet cross, and the announcement begins:
" The parishes of Surbiton, Norbiton, New Malden, Worcester Park and Tolworth present ' The Stations of the Cross ' and ' The Upper Room ' (Robert Hugh Benson) at the Kingston Empire on Good Friday ..."
And it goes on to announce that the Apostolic Delegate will preside and preath the Twelfth Station of the Cross.
Archbishop Godfrey will speak from the stage, where also the Rev. Dr. Herbert Calnan will conduct the other Stations.
Two thousand tickets-all at one shilling-have been sold.
The united choirs of the five parishes and the choir of Holy Cross Convent, New Malden, will sing during the service, and Mgr. Benson's Passion Play, but the whole audience, too. will sing Latin and English hymns, including the Credo and " Praise to the Holiest " from Cardinal Newman's " Dream of Gerontius."
The play is being produced by Fr. Hugh Hunt, with the assistance of Mgr. David Cashman, the Apostolic Delegate's secretary, and Fr. Finnan. The service begins at 7 p.m.. and with the play will last about two hours.