40,000 CHRISTIANS WANTED IMMEDIATELY
THE Christmas Poster campaign I started in 1950. It began because of an art competition in a South London school. The children were asked to submit Christmas drawings and the senior art master came in to judge them. He praised the skill of those who had drawn plum puddings, holly. elephants, crackers and awarded marks and prizes. A few children had attempted pictures of the crib. These he dismissed as not suitable for prizes, because they treated of a legend which had little connection with Christmas as we know it today. To counteract, as far as possible. such insidious propaganda, a group of Christians decided to risk what money they had to put up posters in the streets. It was in 1950 when the first posters were put up that the remark was first heard which has since become famous; "Look dear, they are trying to bring religion into Christmas now!"
Another point of view APRIEST in the North of England overheard another remark which illustrates the creeping paganism of our times. A little boy. seeing a crib in a shop window, asked his mother what it was. The poor woman was not sure and she consulted a fellowshopper who did not know. "We'll ask Granny when we get home: she told the child and added to her neighbour. "I'm afraid Granny knows more about those old stories than I do."
The Poster Campaign
THE beauty of the Christmas .1. Poster campaign is that it is at once national and local so that all Christians can work together without surrendering the initiative to a central organisation or ignoring the needs of their own town. Schools, parishes, confraternities can all unite. Nor is the campaign only one for collecting money. Prayer and selfsacrifice can increase the value of each poster and local enterprise is needed to arrange a display of posters and cribs on suitable sites. Last year on a journey to many parts of England. I was surprised to note the different levels of zeal. In some areas nothing could be seen at all, in others there were large posters on the hoardings, small posters in shop windows, beautiful cribs outside churches and in other public places. in libraries, hospitals and shops. I mentioned in this column the lovely crib in Clitheme at the foot of the ruined castle, another near Wimbledon Station, and the poster, floodlit. in Manchester near Albert Square. Two years ago in Birmingham there was a crib in a cinema kiosk. Wallington had a fine crib outejde the church and a shop with a window set aside for a display of small Austrian cribs.
This year's campaign
THANKS to the generosity of the 1 bill-posting industry. thousands of large sixteen-sheet posters will again
be appearing on the hoardings at Christmas. The sites are given free but the printing and distribution of these coloured posters done by Alan Barlow works out at nearly el per poster. With the large posters little or no local initiative is possible for the posters are placed where sites are available. Where someone has a private hoarding or wall, a sixteen-sheet poster may be obtained. This year there will he two forms of smaller poster, one double crown, 20 in. by 30 in.. the other by T. I. Bond, the Liverpool artist, specially produced for smaller windows. II is a picture of Our Lady and Our Lord in two colours and it measures 10 in. by 15 in. These smaller posters will be given to anyone who buys a book of Christmas stamps. Mr. Bond's poster not only plays its part in the Christmas Poster campaign but will also serve es a useful decoration for the celebrations on December 8.
THE address to note for further 1 information is The Christmas Poster Campaign, 19 Charing Cross Road, London, W.C.2. The campaign, which began with five amateurs five yeav, ago, now has the support of many and has been copied in many parts of the world. Complacency is, however, dangerous. Do please write and ask for a leaflet about Christmas and for a small poster and a book of stamps. If 40.000 generous Christians each collected half a crown there would be no problem at all. Readers of this column have been so very generous in the past,
LAST week I took a party of Jesuitseo the Tower of London to see the Salt Tower in which Fr. John Gerard, Blessed Henry Walpole and others were imprisoned. The yeoman warder called aside one of the party and asked him in a whisper: "What is the exact difference between an and a Jesuit?"