Sim-We are glad to state that this parish appears to have found a solution for assisting its members in strictly temporal difficulties. Our clergy, realising the impact of the Welfare State on present-day living conditions, set up a Parish Secretariat. Manned by six interviewers (no experts included) and ably assisted by three woman secretaries, it has dealt with more than 1,200 cases during the three years of its existence. A wide variety of problems are handled, mainly arising from the complexities of modern-day living. No direct financial aid is given to en q u iri es and, surprisingly, almost never requested.
Close contacts with Government departments, local authorities, welfare societies, hospitals, discharged prisoners' associations and the like are maintained. It is most pleasing to note the amount of genuine kindliness and sympathy so often displayed by all these bodies.
We are fortunate in possessing the active co-operation and interest of our priests who, being eased in worrying over the material problems of their flock, are thereby enabled to devote more time to their professional duties.
Our one regret is that there are so few organisations of this description in existence. Inter-parochial mutual aid is sorely needed for this type of work and, if that comes into being, there is no doubt that the family ties of the Church must be inevitably strengthened.
St. Joseph's Retreat, Highgate Hill, N.19.