Friday, November 5, 2010


A trip to the hospital yesterday has brought some musing on the problem of where we send our alms. In the forty minutes of public transport  between home and my destination I was 'doorstepped' no less than three times with canvassers trying to get me to sign up to various charities they were representing. I hold no grudge against them. They seem to be a largely exploited workforce of new arrivals to this country working for agencies. Occasionally you find a 'professional' amongst them. There's one who appears in a variety of guises around London depending on who he is working for that day. It's when I ran into him two days running in different guises that I realised I had to change my ordinary evasive patter.

Now I normally start with 'I don't have a bank account'. This normally stops them dead in their tracks. It mucks up the flow of what they have been trained to do. Occasionally if I've got a particular reservation about a charity (normally to do with life issues). I then give them a short spiel. If I discover they are Catholic they then get the 'cooperation in evil' appendix to the spiel in a rather gentle version. I generally refer them back to their parish priest for guidance. Remember these people are largely agency employees and walk a tightrope. They are rarely doing the job as their first choice and unless they deliver a target amount of contact details at the end of a shift their jobs are on the line.

What would be useful would be a list of charities collecting on the streets and their suitability for Catholic contributions. The reasons why they might not be suitable would be very useful. Can anybody point me to such a site? It would need to have actual facts of where the money is going. It could include a wide range perhaps even including certain so called Catholic agencies.

By the way, in this month of Holy Souls, on this fifth of November, can you spare a prayer for the Guy?


  1. There is already a list of suitable charities for Catholics to give to:

  2. Thank you very much! Just the reply I was hoping for.


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