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Papal Visit 2010

Enjoy a selection of your own photos from the 2010 Papal Visit from:
  + Hyde Park
  + Westminster

  + The Piazza
  + Cofton Park
and others
... no need to click nor press.... just allow a few seconds for the photos to load and then enjoy them as they scroll themselves.....
We hope you enjoy these wonderful memories

Please also take some time to Andrew Grundy's and Deacon Steve Pickard's stories.
Andrew's story      
         +  Steve's reflection

Information for Parishioners at Ss Alban & Stephen associated with the 2010 Papal Visit

Pope Benedict XVI  - The 2010 Visit to the UK
these are the pre-Papal Visit pages, which we've kept here, for interest

Information for Parishioners

Pilgrims (those going to Hyde Park or Birmingham)
Ss Alban and Stephen Catholic Church has been allocated places for over 160 parishioners to attend the Hyde Park Vigil of Prayer in London and there are over 40 attending the Beatification Mass at Cofton Park, Birmingham.  

For security reasons pilgrim passes (Hyde Park only) and numbered wristbands (both venues) needed to access the events, can only be issued personally to each pilgrim on the day (see below).

Briefing Meetings on 11th September  
We are holding two meetings on 11th September to brief those attending the events.  These are at 1pm and at 7pm in the Parish Hall.  The pilgrim packs will be given out at each of the two meetings.  Those who have been told that they have tickets should come to one of these meetings unless otherwise agreed with the Pilgrim Leader (see below).
The meetings will allow pilgrims to ask questions, agree travel arrangements and also to make their payments of £5 for Hyde Park and £25 for Birmingham.

Pilgrim Leaders
  Hyde Park:  
  Tim Stevens 
  (Tel 07875 848138)
  Sara Nash  
  (Tel 07979 804127).

What to bring (and what not to bring)
You MUST have clothing/footwear to cope with the weather and terrain (see the advice in your packs), any medication you use, emergency contacts numbers and details of your medication, your visit handbook, your pilgrim pack and photo/security identifications.  
It is essential that you read the literature in your pilgrims packs.  

There is no seating provided so small folding chairs, blankets and kneelers are recommended. Banners and flags are welcomed, torches and cameras will be useful.

You CANNOT bring any alcohol, gazebos, canopies, BBQs, animals (except registered assistance dogs), candles, musical instruments, whistles, bicycles, standing platforms, glass, compressed gas and other fuel containers.

Order of Service
Order of service and other activities at both events is fully detailed in the Magnificat handbooks covering all the Liturgies and Events of the Papal Visit. These are
seperately available at the the back of church in all three Mass locations of the parish for only £2. These are available for everyone whether you are staying at home, lining the street or attending a Vigil or Mass. The booklets are a rich treasure that will last beyond the visit.

The venues will have lots of stewards and guides to help us. Wheelchair users may be helped by onsite staff. There are toilets and wash facilities on site and Food is available for purchase but many are taking shared picnics. Please read the safety guidance in the pilgrim packs. There will be free drinking water and first aid teams.

Also, p
lease look after each other in our small groups and parties, making sure that we say goodbye if any of us decides to leave separately or early.

Pope Benedict XVI will visit England and Scotland on a four-day Papal visit from 16-19 September 2010.

Thursday 16 September
When Pope Benedict arrives in the UK, he will visit Scotland where he will be received by Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family and people representing British society in the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh. A St Ninian's Day Parade has been organised through the streets of Edinburgh to mark this historic occasion. Having met the Queen, the Pope will travel to Glasgow where he will celebrate an open-air Mass at Bellahouston Park in the evening and then he will fly from Glasgow to London. The Holy Father will then be based in London for the remainder of the visit.

Friday 17 September
On the second day of the visit, Pope Benedict is going to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, where there will be three aspects to his visit. The first is that he begins the day praying with representatives of religious congregations - particularly those who have a charism for education and a history of education. He will then go and meet 3,000 young people - schoolchildren, students - to celebrate Catholic education. From there he will then meet with religious leaders and people of religious faith in the Waldegrave Drawing Room. He will discuss with them religion and belief in our society.  Later in the day, the Pope is scheduled to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace in the presence of the Anglican diocesan bishops and the Catholic diocesan bishops of England and Wales.  He has then been invited, as part of the State visit, to address British society. Representatives of British society will be invited to Westminster Hall to hear the Pope's address. He will finish off the day with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Christian leaders at Westminster Abbey to celebrate Evening Prayer. The Holy Father will also pray at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior and also at the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor.

Saturday 18 September
On the third day of the visit, Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass in Westminster Cathedral where he will also, from there, greet the people of Wales. At the end of Mass, the Holy Father will greet around 2,500 young people gathered in the Piazza to welcome him. Later in the day he will visit St Peter's Residential Home for the elderly in Vauxhall, giving the Pope an opportunity to go to those who cannot meet with him, and then be present at an
open air Vigil of prayer in London's Hyde Park.

Sunday 19 September
The final day of the visit is focused very much on the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, and the Pope will celebrate that beatification in
Cofton Park in Birmingham - adjacent, fittingly, to Rednal where Cardinal Newman was buried and the place where Newman and his community came for rest and recreation in the Lickey Hills. The Holy Father will then make a private visit to the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston, Birmingham where he will be the first person to pray at the new shrine for the "Blessed" John Henry Newman as he will be then. Pope Benedict will conclude the day by meeting with the bishops of England, Scotland and Wales in Oscott College before returning to Rome from Birmingham Airport.

Download this Itinerary
Click here to download the schedule as a pdf file

The Pope's visit on TV & Radio
The Papal Visit will be covered on TV and Radio, as well as it being streamed on the Internet.

EWTN offers by far the most comprehensive coverage (but is only on Sky Channel 589). EWTN will broadcast ALL events live - a schedule is available for download ..click here

BBC One Daytime on Thursday 16th September with the Pope’s arrival and official state greeting by the Queen in Edinburgh. This will be followed on BBC Two later in the day with a live broadcast of Pope Benedict’s first celebration of Mass in Britain at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. On Friday, 17th September, BBC Two and Radio 4 LW will broadcast live from Westminster Abbey where the Pope will join the Archbishop of Canterbury in a celebration of Evening Prayer. BBC Two Daytime will broadcast a live relay of the Papal Mass from Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, 18th September, when Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass with the Bishops of England and Wales. On Sunday, 19th September, BBC Two Daytime will provide full coverage of the Mass of Beatification where the Pope will declare Cardinal John Henry Newman, ‘Blessed’ at Cofton Park, Birmingham.

Also, Live streaming on the Internet at


Missal/Prayer book for Papal Visit

Magnificat together with the Papal Visit organisers have produced this prayer book for the Papal Visit. It contains the text of all the liturgical events of the visit, together with short forms of Morning and Evening prayer and informative essays. Those who are attending the events at Hyde Park and Birmingham should have a copy and those who are following on TV will find them invaluable too. The prayer books are available at the Church and Mass Centres. The Diocese has asked for a donation of £2 per copy.

Other opportunities to see Pope Benedict
For those not attending the Hyde Park or Birmingham events, there are still some opportunities to catch a glimpse of the Pope as he travels in the Popemobile: Friday, 17th September, at around 5pm, the Pope will travel from Lambeth Palace across Lambeth Bridge and along Millbank. He will arrive at the Palace of Westminster at about 5.15pm.  There will be limited space along this route and limited vantage points from which to see the Pope. On Saturday, 18th September, at 6pm, the Pope will travel along Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Constitution Hill and Hyde Park Corner before arriving at Hyde Park for the Prayer Vigil at around 6.30pm.  
Coverage of the visit will also feature on BBC One and Two and on EWTN (Sky channel 589).

Specific Details for Hyde Park and Birmingham (or if you're a Birmingham Pilgrim, click here or just scroll down)
Details for the HYDE PARK VIGIL OF PRAYER including the Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction.

Passes & Wristbands Hyde Park security passes and wristbands will be issued at our parish hall at 9am on Saturday 18 September 2010. We are instructed this is a security requirement. Your pass will be taken from you at the entrance gate and the wristband must be worn throughout the event. Pilgrims need to take one form of photo identification in case of spot checks - a passport, driving licence or photo bus/railcard will do.

Travel  The initial cost for Hyde Park pilgrims has been reduced and the Zone 1 tube ticket removed from the price. This is to allow pilgrims to purchase combination train/tube tickets, in many cases more economically.

After collecting your passes and wristbands on Saturday morning, you will then be free to travel down to London and enter the Hyde Park arena anytime from 1pm.

It is unlikley that all 160+ pilgrims will want to travel all at once and not everyone will fit on one train! It is recommended that we travel in groups and look after each other. Agreements can be made at the meetings on the 11 September if you are new to the parish. It may be useful to share mobile telephone numbers with others in your party.

Please be aware that the closest bus stops, tube stations and cabs to Hyde Park may be restricted on the day and you may need to walk a little to and from the park. The large crowds of pilgrims will mean it will take a time to reach destinations but the unity amongst friends and strangers will be amazing.

Access to Hyde Park  Pilgrims can enter the arena with or without the pilgrim leader provided they have their pass, wristband and ID. Tim Stevens will be at the Hyde Park arena main entrance from 12:30pm with a red sign marked, unsuprisingly, "Ss ALBAN & STEPHEN CATHOLIC CHURCH".

There is no rule where any of us stands or sits but people can find the church sign to join up. Tim will have his mobile phone on for anyone lost (07875 848138).

The Pope is not expected until 6:15pm but people are required to be inside the arena by 2pm. Fortunately there will be things going on and good friends close by.


COFTON PARK BIRMINGHAM Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Journey Info
The figure for Cofton Park includes the cost of coach travel.  

Just to let you know about the coach departure point for coaches to Birmingham. 

The coach(es) will depart from Harpended at 3.45am. Boarding will be outside the Chef Peking Restaurant, 5-6 Church Green, Harpenden AL5 2TP.  It is at the junction of ROTHAMSTED AVENUE and CHURCH GREEN.  It is a bus terminus. Some people may want to park their cars.  The nearest town car park is AMENBURY LANE.  This road is to the left of WAITROSE.

Cofton Park pilgrims will have security wristbands only. They will be issued at the beginning of the journey.

Arrival at Cofton Park
Your coach will be directed into one of the many parking bays in the coach park. Please make sure that you know what coach park you are in: RED or BLUE and which bay your coach is parked in; also what the identification number is on the coach. Space to do this is provided on the Pilgrim Passport.

Bays will be marked up with a number and letter on large signs the same size as an estate agent board. Stewards will be on site to assist you if you need help. 

When in the Coach park remember to always walk along the pedestrian walkways never across the coach rows or the roadways.

When leaving the coach make sure you have all you need for the Mass and have not left anything in the coach as the drivers will not be there to let you onto the coach until after the Mass.

The route to the Arena is clearly sign posted please follow the route indicated.

There is a steady walk of between 500m and 1500m to the arena. The walk is on hard surfaces
concrete and road surfaces and uphill on the way into the arena.

The arena is grass so please wear footwear and clothing to cope with the conditions under foot and the weather on the day.

Toilets are available in the arena.  Only limited toilets available in the parking area.

It will unfortunately not be possible to stay on the coaches, as the drivers will be departing for their rest periods to comply with regulations.

Pilgrims should be fully prepared for a long wait in the open air with no cover or provided seating. Pilgrims can bring food and drink to enjoy and bring suitable clothing for every eventuality and in the arena there will be catering units and official merchandise for sale. 

Departure from Cofton Park

After the Mass you will need to leave via the same access gate you walked through on arrival.

Please use the facilities before you leave the arena as there are only limited toilets in the coach park.
Coaches will be scheduled to depart from around 2:30pm allowing plenty of time for Pilgrims to get back to the coach once the Pope has left the Park.

Please stagger your departure from the arena according to when your coach is leaving.
Coaches will depart in a steady flow from the site according to the schedule.

Your Pilgrim Leader will need to confirm that nobody is missing so if you are not returning on the same coach please make sure that your pilgrim leader is aware.


God of truth and love, your Son, Jesus Christ, stands as the light to all who seek you with a 
sincere heart.  As we strive with your grace to be faithful in word and deed, may we reflect the kindly light of Christ and offer a witness of hope and peace to all.  We pray for Pope Benedict and look forward with joy to his forthcoming visit to our countries.  May he be a witness to the unity and hope which is your will for all people. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.  


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