24 MARCH 1967, Page 28

Sir: I wonder what effect Simon Raven's letter to his

son would have had on me were I fifteen. I think his pervading cynicism would have increased considerably the instability of adolescence, for he has replaced the petty materialism of many people's lives by a systematic and empirical materialism far more sinister because of its thoroughness. The code of expediency which seems to underlie all his advice makes human life a self-perpetuating but utterly pointless phenomenon and it seems to me that this impoverished view of life is not unconnected with the naive view of the Church which be expresses. He talks of the Church of England as if it bad nothing to do with Christianity, for while mere membership of the former involves practically no commitment and offers little in return, the practice of the latter demands a commitment of all we have and offers more than we can desire—and a great deal more than Mr Raven offers his son.