Today this afternoon at two o'clock the relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux arrived in St. Chad's cathedral, stopping over in Birmingham over the weekend during their tour of England and Wales. I arrived just in time to the joyous peeling of the cathedral bells, where the procession was just starting up.
Slipping through the crowds, I managed to catch a few pictures. Bishop Philip Pargeter, Auxiliary of Birmingham is leading the procession, while behind him are the nuns of the Carmel of Wolverhampton. For many of them, it may be their first day out in years.
And here is the reliquary, borne in procession to the cathedral:
I expected the cathedral to be busy, but I didn't realise that I would be very fortunate to get inside for the service that was to follow! We were held waiting by the doors while the stewards managed to squeeze in a few extra persons.
And when I got inside, it was standing room only!
Then followed sung Midday Prayer, led by Bishop Pargeter, with the nuns of Wolverhampton Carmel.
At the end of the recessional, we were asked to wait for official photographs of the occasion, before beginning veneration. Seeing the vast crowds, I thought it would be better to go away for an hour for them to subside, and come back later. However, I was in for a surprise when I came back! More later...