16 AUGUST 1930, Page 19

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sui,—The two articles recently published by you from the Rev. P. B. Clayton were of very great interest and freshness, especially to those who remember the writer as the genial innkeeper of Poperinghe, and who treasure memories of that quiet chapel under the roof of that same inn. One expects originality and clearness of outlook from the presiding genius of that house of curious notices..

I well remember attending Evensong conducted by Mr. Clayton in a museum-like room in Proven when he was shelled out of " Pop," and the curiously abstracted air of the parson as he recited the prayers whilst wandering about looking for something he had mislaid. Evidently he is beginning to. find the missing something and declare it to others. His positive attitude is a welcome corrective to the impatience of another parson.

But the stubborn fact remains that the Church has but little hold on men—thinking or otherwise. One has only to make observations in any country district, or suburban area for that matter, to see the aimless position of our youth—those whom even Toe H cannot touch. If only one man, not necessarily the parson, in each church or chapel throughout the country could be persuaded to give his leisure to the care of these youths, and inspire them with his genius, a tremendous step would be taken towards the solution of many problems. But I shall be told that the " if " belongs to the impossible