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simply to "he there" and share in conversations, to stimulate and facilitate activity with their ideas. The occasional visitor of special interest should work in the same way, not give a lecture. In these natural encounters. the influence of priests. especially younger ones. can help to overcome the problems of communication now besetting between younger and older people in all spheres. The ground covered may range from theology at depth and questions of national import to the simplest recreational interests. 3. The club should not become a mere centre for dancing, though the dance always has its part to play. It should he a base from which activities can be sponsored. club members going out in groups into the wider community.
4. This is why there is no need to go in for a lot Of expensive equipment. A scheme is planned in the London area. for instance. whereby the counts authority will provide centres where equipment will be available for photography, sculpting, handicrafts. and other interests. and members of recognised clubs can use their membership cards as a passport to them. 5. The apostolic formation of youth can he fostered here. Clubs should be started off with a carefully chosen nucleus. and then. once it is a going concern. the more inadequate among the local young people can be brought in. Joint programmes of service to the outside community can he organised from the club, such as a range of services for old people. lapsed young Catholics, and bringing young non-Catholics to an encounter with the faith.
A minority proportion of nonCatholics may, in some cases, be introduced even to membership. particularly in cases where Catholic members have developed strong ties with non-Catholics of the
opposite sex. Clearly, the guidance of the parish priest is paramount here.
6. Some of the more successful clubs are inter-parochial, drawing as they do on a wider community with more to give each other.
7. A parish wanting to build youth club premises can secure a 75 per cent grant from statutory authorities. Grants are also available for activities. Some local authorities will provide premises in schools, and in one area in the north have actually built annexes to schools for this specific purpose. Failing this. the ordinary parish hall can he used.
8. Adults must take a lively interest, and a strong management committee with a clear constitution is always required if grants are to be obtained. Local authorities can help Catholic clubs, but not Catholic parishes.
9. A number of voluntary helpers is always necessary, but they must be grouped round a trained youth leader. often fulltime. There are full-time training courses. as at the College specially set up at Leicester, where Catholics are beginning to arrive in some strength.
Students are in the 23-45 age group and come from all walks of life. The youth leader must have more to give than art organising technique. Everything depends on his personality and background. and the wider his experience the better. But part time training in the evenings is also available in some localities.
10. More and more Catholics are wanted in this field, and special stress is laid on the value of nuns taking up this work. Clubs may often he mixed. but there is plenty of scope for parallel clubs of boys and girls. joining together for suitable purposes. Any queries? Write to Clive James. That's what he's there for.