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Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 11:32 UK
'Host' parishioners thrilled at working at Papal Mass
Oratory House in Rednal - burial place of Cardinal Newman
Preparations for the Pope have also begun at the Oratory House in Rednal

The priest of the church whose parish includes Cofton Park says parishioners are thrilled at the prospect of working at the Pope's Mass next month.

Around 140 members of the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Rednal will be among the 70,000-strong crowd at the park on Sunday 19 September.

Parishioners have been asked to carry out a number of roles in the build up to and on the day itself.

Pope Benedict XVI's open-air Mass will round off his 4-day visit to the UK.

The two-hour ceremony will also include the Pope's beatification of Cardinal John Newman who is buried in the parish - at the Oratory House in Rednal.

Jobs for parishioners

Father Nicholas Latham, priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour told BBC WM's Breakfast show excitement among his parishioners is building.

"I was talking to a lot of them and they're very excited indeed.

"A certain number of parishioners have volunteered to be stewards at the event and we've also been asked to do certain jobs, for example filling the patterns which contain the communion hosts ready for the Mass.

"No doubt closer to the time we'll get asked to do a variety of odd jobs. Our two parish deacons have been asked to help out on site during the Mass in various ways."

Potenial Papal audience

As the 'host' parish, there has been talk of a potential audience between the Pope and its leaders.

"It's been discussed and it would be very nice to welcome him and thank him for coming to Birmingham to beatify Cardinal Newman, but I don't think it will be possible," Father Latham said.

Preparations at Cofton Park are already underway with certain sections of the 135-acre site closed off for the building of walkways but Birmingham Council have stressed the majority of the park will be open over the Bank Holiday weekend.




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