CLERGYMEN IN THE MONTE CARLO RALLY

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• CLERGYMEN IN THE MONTE CARLO RALLY

Sir,

As theological students and faithful readers of MOTOR SPORT, we Would like to register a strong protest against your statement : “Two young clergymen in a Mini-Austin using the Rally as a gimmick to publicise religion.” We feel that this remark was quite unfounded, in very bad taste and certainly not worthy of the apparent fair-mindedness of your magazine.

Your criticism implies that every time a clergyman steps outside his church he is ” publicising religion.” Rev. Rupert Jones is obviously a first-class sporting driver. B.M.C. cannot have regarded him and his co-driver as thoroughly incompetent to have given them a works car. Anyone who saw Jones blinding round the Monaco circuit would surely endorse B.M.C.’s faith !

So why shouldn’t -a parson rally—Doe. Shepherd races and no one binds about racing doctors—or do you want us to stick to pulpits—and mopeds? If anyone would care to lend the M.C. of this theological college a suitably hot Mini, he’ll find several future clerics eager far a blind round Monaco or any other circuit—collars, prayer-books ‘n all! ALAN A. Dom for Clifton. The disgruntled members of Tyndale l lall M.C. [This is the least aggressive of the insuay letters received, but all the clergymen who have written have missed the point. I have no objection at all to members of the clerical profession competing in motoring competitions—indeed, I was delighted when the Rev. Hall-Yarr drove his 12/50 Alvis at Brooklands in 1927, or was it 1928 ?, and cornered so exuberantly that he burst a tyre. Nor have I ever implied that the Rev. Rupert Jones and his codriver are not extremely capable rally drivers. Much good could result from the appearance of clergymen in modern sports, of which rallies and motor races have a very big following and attract young and impressionable people. But by putting a badge incorporating a clerical collar on their rally car arid listing their route to Monte Carlo, concluding with ” Heaven,” thereon, they rendered participation in a serious motoring contest a gimmick to publicise religion ? It was that I was criticising— not the quality of the Reverends’ driving or the fact that they were clergymen.—ED.J