ECENT letters in your correspondence column have aired the very long-standing problem of financial aid to the former Catholic Workers' College—now Plater College—at Oxford.
Anyone looking over a list of past and present students will realise that, over the years, several priests and nuns have received social work training at the college, alongside lay students. In these days of developing co-operation between laity and clergy. would it not be reasonable if this side of the College's work was extended?
There have been Press reports of priests attending courses in social psychology and other subjects provided for social workers—and this is encouraging. However, if this sort of "training policy" could be more widely adopted—perhaps on a terminal blockrelease basis—a n d s u c h students attending the college, there might be even stronger grounds for requesting official recognition of and grant-aid to the college by the hierarchy. Those of us who have passed through Plater College know that its training provides far more than a university diploma. A useful side-effect, especially in these days, is a practical training in interracial communal living. Doubtless this experience could be of great value to priests faced with the problems of parishes whose residents included a large proportion of immigrant families.
This would require an expansion of the college and its move back into Oxford. The need for more financial support would become even more imperative—which brings us back to the need for official and generous aid to an educational establishment which has served the Catholic cornmunity well over the past 40odd years.
0. Trewick Slough, Bucks.
This correspondence is now closed.—Editor.