I SUPPOSE it will not be generally known to your readers that about three or four times a year Catholic bishops write what is called a pastoral letter to the people of their diocese. This is usually welcomed - it relives the priest of the anxiety of writing a Sunday sermon, and his congregation of hearing it!

Last Sunday we read Archbishop Vincent Nichols' Advent Pastoral and I have to say I was so moved by it that I had difficulty reading it out. It showed such empathy with the predicament we are all in of looking for real peace and happiness in a world which offers many false paths to either.

The Archbishop invites everyone to join him during these coming weeks of Christmas and the weeks before it in what he calls 'A Walk with Me'. This is an invitation to join him in prayer. A little booklet is provided with a scripture reading and reflection for each day of these weeks. It can be obtained from any Catholic Church or any Catholic you know.

Not many of your readers either will know that quite a lot of praying goes on in Malvern - or should that be 'a lot of quiet praying'? There is a good lady (not a Catholic as it happens) who organises something called a 24/7 Prayer Watch. She has recruited a number of people who - individually - commit themselves to devoting an hour of their choosing (one of the 24x7 in a week) to pray for the needs of the locality and local people. Readers can ask at any church, of any denomination, for further details.

May you and yours find peace and happiness in the Lord at this festival of his coming among us - for just that purpose.

FR CHRISTOPHER CALASCIONE, Parish Priest, St Wulstan's, Little Malvern.