'Most of us are a bit squashed'

Treat yourself to this Christmas video message from the children of a primary school in south London to the local councillor in charge of housing -- and prepare to shed a tear.

The school did a survey of the families of the schoolchildren, and found that 80 per cent were in overcrowded conditions -- "a bit squashed", as the children heart-meltingly put it.

Advertisement

Both survey and video were put together by London Citizens, the capital’s largest alliance of congregations seeking social change. The children chosen to speak on it are the ones suffering from overcrowding -- and what they say is all true.

If the production values  -- especially the music and choreography -- seem unusually high for an "amateur" video, this may reflect the behind-the-scenes role played by Bernadette Farrell, lead organiser of South London Citizens and one of the leading Catholic liturgical composers of our day.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for poor Mr Roy Evans, Director of Housing of Wandsworth Council, who chose not to appear at the South London Citizens assembly the other night to respond to the video. It’s hard to imagine he’ll be able to hold out against an onslaught of this magnitude.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018