Surrey Daily Advertiser 23-24 Sep 1974

Surrey Daily Advertiser 23-24 Sep 1974
Thanks to the Surrey History Centre, Woking


The Soft Words of Mother Teresa

By Sally Ballard

GUILDFORD Cathedral was filled when nearly 2,000 schoolchildren came to hear Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

The majority of children were fifth- and sixth- formers of all denominations from Surrey and Sussex schools.

It was a three-hour event, the world-famous figure having come especially to Guildford on her last day in England to talk on her beliefs and work with the poor, before she returns to India.

In her gentle and soft-spoken manner she enchanted the audience, which included the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt. Rev. David Brown and the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, the Rt. Rev. Michael Bowen.

Mother Teresa emphasised that her work with the poor and sick in Calcutta is no different from her work in London homes.

The poverty in London is material she said, but in London there are “the lonely and the unwanted and unloved. I think that is the greatest poverty that a human being can bear.”

Her visit was the brain-child of Father Barry Wymes, director for Pastoral Renewal in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

He had seen her at a ceremony in 1973 when she was presented with the Templeton Award for religion.

An immediate disciple, Father Wymes felt that the opportunity to see and hear her obvious sincerity and devotion might impress the young people in the area who are unsure about institutional religion and the church today.

Impressed could hardly describe the awe-struck audience who sat with hardly a murmur throughout the talk, and then queued to ask questions both personal and relating to society in general.

As two girls from Farnborough Hill Convent, Farnborough said: “If you listen to it all and only remember half, it has done some good.”

The Mother Teresa Youth Rally, as it was called, took the form of an interview session conducted by Mr. Ralph Rolls of the BBC, who then supervised the audience question-time.

The afternoon ended with an informal service.

A BBC sound team recorded the entire proceedings for the World Service and future education programmes.

(dates and spellings corrected).

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