Catholic Herald Reporters
TWO dioceses have between them claimed back more than 115,000 from the Inland Revenue in the past year through the Covenant scheme.
Figures released this week show that Southwark, has received £93.279 for the financial year ending April 5. 1962; Salford. where the scheme is now gaining ground rapidly. has just reclaimed £22,000 from the Inland Revenue.
Both dioceses are concerned that the scheme is so far only touching the fringe, that there are too many people who feel that covenenting is too much trouble,
"In the Salford Diocese there are 200 parishes and something like 400.000 Catholics of whom about 100,000 or one in four are ratepayers," Fr. Louis Sharp, the Diocesan Organiser, told me this week.
In many instances. he said, "we are just skimming the cream, enlisting obvious covenants such as doctors, teachers and so on, while hundreds of others who could make a covenant are not even being approached.
One of the difficulties. Fr. Sharp pointed out, was in finding people who knew something about the scheme to help operate it in each parish.
Fr. Sharp, envious of the Southwark Mud. said that this is the sum that Salford should be able to reach.
Southwark, where the first claim presented by the diocese was for the year 1946-7, has to date received a total of £561,343, reports the current issue of the Southwark Record.
But they arc not sticking at that, With 16,000 covenants on the diocesan books, the target by this time next year is at least 25.000.
If no covenants had been signed, all this money would have been "presented" to the Inland Revenue.