...I spoke to a branch of the (Anglican) Mothers' Union in Cheam, Surrey - a nice group...and to a very jolly social club in West Wickham in Kent...I mostly go about by bike, but when there's a train or tram journey involved I always make sure I've got something to read, and this week it's been Leonie Caldecott's excellent paperback What do Catholics Believe? (Granta Press £6.99p). It's fresh style and approach would make it ideal for young readers (VI formers, University students) and I especially like its honesty, the way it tackles history, its treatment of marriage and the approach to the Mass.
A common thread in any discussions at local community groups at present is the criminal rate among the young and especially among young girls. It's not just the stabbings and bashings-up - it's the more casual stuff, that people witness and feel they cannot report as it puts their own safety at risk: vandalism, deliberate and offensive littering, shoplifting, threatening behaviour especially towards the elderly or frail. There's a general awareness, of course, that the problem won't be resolved by current techniques - last summer's pathetic response in one area, you may recall, was for the police to hand out bars of chocolate to young drunkyards, in the hope that thje food would help them to digest the alcohol more quickly - but by a restoration of common sense. Restore status to marriage and allow stable families to flourish, stop funding daft groups that celebrate children's "rights" over their real needs, ban the gross forms of sex "education" that restablishes a pattern of premature sexual activity, establish sane drinking hours instead of this 24-hour nonsense. All that would be a start.
Melanie Phillips has some good material on this: read her here.