By Fr, BERNARD BASSET, S.J.
FAITHful readers of this column will no doubt sigh resignedly when they read about the Christmas Poster again. Three years ago it was a novelty, peculiar to this column and those who helped, had the ups and downs of pioneers. We put up 3,000 large posters that year. In the following year 6.000 of the Doris Zinkeisen pictures were on the hoardings, and last year there were 500 large posters and 30,000 double crown.
Why again ?
E'EACH year some of us have felt like stopping, hut each year overwhelming reasons have persuaded us to try once again. What reasons? Well, the increasing support from Christians of all denominations the requests for another poster which have come from every part of the country: the evidence that the previous posters have brought the true meaning of Christmas before the public : the astonishing goodwill and generosity of friends. Just think carefully about this. For 1953 the advertisers have offered 5,000 sites. So encouraging a gesture as this forces us to make the effort and to produce the 5,000 posters for display.
Note the address
THE Christmas Poster campaign began three years ago with little support and no address. Each year the support has grown. The Knights of St. Columba were in it from the first. Then came the Catholic Women's League, the Union of Catholic Mothers and a great many other organisations have now volunteered help. Non-Catholic bodies have also given generous support. The Christmas Poster campaign now has an independent existence and an address. If you want to help or want information, write to the Christmas Poster Campaign, 19 Charing Cross Road, W.C.2. As much of the work is done voluntarily and after office hours, do not be too impatient.
The new poster
THIS year the campaign takes three forms. A new poster has been designed by the well-known artist Alan Barlow and 5,000 16-sheet posters will be displayed. Then there arc 10,000 double-crown posters of Doris Zinkeisen's picture which can be had for private display. Lastly a new set of stamps, designed by Janet and Anne Grahame-Johnstone, has been issued and these can be used for letters and parcels. The organisers have issued a delightful leaflet explaining the campaign for a Christian Christmas and this may be had free. Get copies of the leaflet and distribute them as widely as you can.
5,000 volunteers wanted
THE Christmas campaign has now outgrown this column, but you and I will want to lend a hand. Each big poster, showing for a month, will cost £1. If 5,000 kind readers would write to say "I'll collect fl for a poster" then all the anxieties would be over at once. You might be able and willing to pay for one poster yourself. Or, even better. you may be able to get friends and neighbours interested. One group last year organised a whist drive to earn the el. There are two months ahead to collect the money, but if I know that kind readers are willing to sponsor one poster each, then the costs of printing can be undertaken with less fear. Send me a card to Loyola Hall, Rainhill, near Liverpool. if you are willing to act in this matter and I will reply to you personally as soon as I can. (Give me a week.) You will have two months to carry out your promise. I'll write to remind you later and to tell you what to do next.
Where will your poster be displayed?
IN the first campaigns an effort was made to put up the Christmas Posters in the parishes from which contributions came. We can no longer promise this. The advertisers have now offered us 5,000 sites all over England and our efforts must all be directed to filling these. The 5,000 sites are widely distributed over a large area, so you are sure to see one near your home unless you live in the middle of the moors. Do you have to stick the poster yourself or climb a ladder? Not likely. The posting of these 16-sheet cribs is a professional affair. But if you are lucky enough to have a large enough wall or fence at your disposal, let me know at once.
SORR Y to have taken up all the space this week on posters, but I naturally want to help the brave promoters, and without your support they are in for an anxious time.
As for a tailpiece, I heard for the first time yesterday the story of a conversation overheard outside a cinema after the showing of the Coronation film. One girl said : "How did you like it. Maud?" and Maud answered: "Smashing. The girl who took the part of the Queen was ever so good."