The Catholic Church’s annual thanksgiving Mass for Migrants was celebrated in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on the first May Bank Holiday Monday – 7 May 2018.
The three London dioceses of Westminster, Southwark and Brentwood joined together to acclaim the rich cultural diversity of the Catholic Church and her people – a significant number of whom have come to the UK from overseas.
The Mass takes place in a different Church each year. As well as the metropolitan Cathdrals, the celebration has also been held in other churches – for example St Anthony of Padua, Forest Gate, where the Mass was held in 2017.
For decades the Church has extended a warm welcome to people from other countries, and this Mass – in honour of St Joseph the Worker – celebrates the international make-up of our congregations and the contribution that migrants make to our society.
The vibrant and uplifting Mass was preceded by a banner procession and was celebrated by the Most Reverend Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, Bishop Alan Williams, Brentwood, Bishop Paul McAleenan, Westminster and Bishop Patrick Lynch, Southwark.
St George’s Cathedral was almost full to capacity with many people and priests from across London, Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire, taking part.
Archbishop Peter Smith looks back on the day.