Sir: Having spent 20 years as a missionary in Africa I returned 14 years ago to continue that same work in England. My experience bids me to refute Jack O'Sullivan's analysis. He fails to mention the 80,000 people of all ages who have converted to the Catholic Church since 1981. Nor does he seem to be aware of the vitality within the Church that is resulting from the increased collaboration between clergy and laity.

Sadly the media are lured away to concentrate on a few middle- to upper- class converts who just want to preserve a cosy pre-Vatican II type of Catholicism. The Catholic Church is no longer a ghetto church. Cardinal Newman was of the opinion that the choice for England was between Catholicism and atheism. This is a challenge the Catholic Church is in the process of taking on.