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Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 14:42 UK
Catholics from Lancaster go to London for Pope's visit

Many local people are travelling to Glasgow, Birmingham and London to attend masses said by the Pope, as he visits the UK for the first time.

Pope Benedict XVI is visiting between 16 and 19 September.

For Catholics this is a landmark visit and possibly the only chance they will get to see this 83-year-old Pope on British soil.

Catholics from the Lancaster Diocese are going to Hyde Park - some by double decker bus - for a prayer vigil.

They've been telling us what the pontiff's historic visit means to them.

Harriet Butterfield, 16, from St. Mary's Church in Yealand Conyers
Harriet Butterfield

"I'm hoping that when I see the Pope I will be able to reaffirm my faith.

"It's a gathering of all young people and so we will be able to show our beliefs and values of the Catholic faith. It's all community and, with the age of materialism, it is good that we can all get together and be able to watch the Pope at the mass.

"We are all going down together. It will be really early in the morning but we will be able to get some sleep.

"It will be fun to be together and I know that I am in charge of the camera so I will be taking all the photos of people with smiles on their faces.

"Seeing the Pope is something I have never done. He's in our country, so it's a once in a lifetime experience to have him over here and to do it for the young people."

Sean McMahon, 35, from St. Peter's Cathedral Church in Lancaster and an RE teacher at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School in Fleetwood
Sean McMahon

"I want to see the Pope because this is his first visit to the UK.

"I've seen the Pope in 2005 at World Youth Day in Cologne. It was a superb experience that I have never forgotten.

"Being surrounded by a million young people from all over the world, from all different walks of life, all different backgrounds, all different cultures, it's an experience you hold close in your heart.

"It makes you realise how universal the church is. I think the same thing will apply at Hyde Park on the Saturday night of the Pope's visit."

Lucy Miller, 20, from St. Bernard's Church in Knott End
Lucy Miller

"I'm going with my friend Rebecca. We are travelling down on the Friday night.

"I'm looking forward to going to see the Pope for several reasons.

"Growing up to be a Catholic, it's something that I have always wanted to do and Rome's never taken my fancy. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity with the Pope coming here.

"With the theme of this year being 'Heart Speak Unto Heart' it's just going to be an amazing opportunity to deepen my faith and to come back from the meeting and pass that on to other people.

"I'm travelling down with a group of young people and so we will probably say the rosary as we travel down. It's going to be really good."

Sarah Kane, 22, from English Martyrs Church in Preston
Sarah Kane

"I'm going to see the Pope in Westminster and then we will carry on to Hyde Park.

"It's a great opportunity as a Catholic young person to hear from the leader of our faith. To get his guidance and to hear what he has to say about how we live and how we can live.

"I think recently in the UK it is not always easy to be a Catholic person or a Christian.

"Hopefully the Pope talking about evangelisation and meeting with other people from the UK will make Catholics more confident about their faith.

"It's exciting to be part of an historic event and possibly a once in a life time opportunity to see our leader."

Anne Marie Coppock, 63, from St. John The Baptist, Burnley & the Salford Diocese branch of Cafod
Anne Marie Coppock

"I've been speaking to a lot of young people who are going and they're really excited and very much looking forward to it.

"There's a lot of anticipation and excitement.

"It will be a time of great blessing for the church.

"It's great occasion.

"I'm representing Cafod at the service in Westminster Abbey.

"This is a place of deep cultural and spiritual significance for our country.

"To be part of that community gathered in prayer together will be a very inspiring moment."




SEE ALSO
The Pope, pilgrims and prayers
17 Aug 10 |  Religion & Ethics
Life as a priest in Lancaster
09 Feb 10 |  Religion & Ethics

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