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Monday 20 September 2010

BPCA attending Papal visit 2010

Pakistani Christians welcoming the pope to England!
Juliet and Wilson savouring the atmosphere
The stage was ginormous

Thousands flocked to join in prayer and worship

Haroon Yousaf queuing for a cup of tea...

People making merry...
Brothers Atiq and Wilson modelling Tshirts for the Papal visit!
Declaring the presence of Pakistani Christians!

Enjoying the festivities

The majority of Pakistani Christians are Catholic, although not Catholic ourselves we recognise that the Catholic church is part of a universal body of Christians.

My little daughter Naomi is mesmerised by her sisters flag.

Christian worship by "The Priests"

A massive stage with a large number of dignitaries.

Papal flags filled the air
Gosh let me past...
Crammed in by still a great sense of euphoria

When the pope arrived his message of peace and unity, and prayers fulfilled a wonderful day.

Although not Catholics (barring my brother Atiq)  members of the BPCA obtained tickets to the main stage area in Hyde Park - for the Pope's visit, via a local Catholic Priest.  The event was arranged well and went without any major perturbation, everyone around us was filled with great joy and expectation.  This the first Papal visit in decades created a real stir in Britain.  No one really knew what to expect, or how many people would attend, but the event attracted a huge crowd both inside and outside the venue.   

Merchandise was expensive but with 80% going to charity who could complain.  Moreover, the eloquent if not elderly popes prayers and supplications were said with clarity and great emotion, stirring people into a real positive frenzy and no doubt bolstering the faith of many.  

That such an important Christian religious figure can still attract such crowds and positive attention is a real testament to the Catholic Church.  Whatever people may feel about the catholic institution, globally it is still by far the largest Christian body (1 in 6 people in the world are Catholic).  Moreover, church attendance in the UK is still largely Catholic.  

I was inspired by this visit and the words that gave encouragement to those amassed with me.  Most importantly I was impressed with the elderly Pope, who made great effort to shake hands with people enrourte to the stage, placing himself in danger.

The modern worship music being played at the event dispelled my "hominy hominy" anachronistic perception  of Catholic Services and I may be encouraged to attend a more charismatic Roman Catholic Church, in future.

Finally I will pray for a safe journey back to the pope and pray for guidance from God to a leader of a fellowship that has in recent time undergone much derision and angst.

I should add that Alex and his children arrived to see the pope after my family and I had left  (our 3 month year old child was getting cold) and I will source some pictures from them.  We were all proud to display the Bristish Pakistani Christian Association banner, at an event that warranted our support.

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