SIR, -The time is long over-ripe for courage in the Church. Courage on the part of the laity in taking on those burdens of administration and money-raising now borne by the parish priests, and courage on the part of the clergy in handing over lay matters to lay people and trusting g little more to God and less to their own financial and administrative abilities.
The parish priest today often spends most of his waking time arranging for the collection of money for the erection of schools or churches, and the day-to-day administration of his house and church, with, perhaps, its attendant parish hall.
Yet would not the Church in England today be more effective if the clergy confined their activities to those matters of spiritual work for which there is such a tremendous and terrible need, and left the Martha side of religious life to a body of lay people? An order of lay people, founded for this purpose, might solve the
difficulty. Philip H. Manning
A. M. Cannon
71 Whittington Road, Brentwood.
The question is a great deal more complex titan our correspondents allow for. We have more than once drawn attention to the idea of a parish association which embodies in active work of all kinds, including educational, the members of the parish. It seems to us that the experience gained in such an association could lead to the gradual relieving of the clergy from some present temporal responsibilities, ineluding some financial ones.-Editor,