Monday, 12 October 2009

A cardinal, a prison and the tour finale

There were extraordinary scenes in Kensington last night as the relics of St Thérèse arrived at the Carmelite Church there. A huge crowd had gathered outside the church, so that - as you can see - it was difficult for the reliquary to be brought in.

From the entrance to the church you can see the large number of people outside. There is little space for people to congregate, and many queued down Kensington Church Street, waiting to get into the church.

Among those who venerated the relics was Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, now resident in nearby Chiswick. Some of the auxiliary bishops of Westminster Diocese were also present. Today the relics call into Wormwood Scrubs, the only prison on the tour. It is an appropriate stop, given Thérèse's desire to call people to conversion. After that comes the tour finale: a three-day visit to Westminster Cathedral. Tens of thousands are expected at this final tour venue, which should provide a fitting climax to a wonderful month. The relics arrive at the Cathedral at 7pm today, and remain there until 4:30pm on Thursday. Further coverage of the Westminster visit, plus more images of St Thérèse in Lancaster, are available on the Lancaster Cathedral blog, here. You can also continue to follow the tour on the national blog, at