Bringing Christ to the streets of London

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Cardinal Vincent Nichols has led a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through Covent Garden – a visitor hot-spot in the heart of London.

Covent Garden attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year with its shops, restaurants, street artists and theatres. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday 3 June, it was Christ – present in the Blessed Sacrament – held high and carried through the streets of the capital.

“As we carried the Blessed Sacrament around Covent Garden, it was a way of saying to people that Christ is with you here and now in this place – in the midst of the entertainment, the bars, the restaurants. He is here and we bring this Sacrament of His Presence to show that…

“Many people, their faces lit up as something opened up a new horizon in their lives as they saw this expression of faith.

“To hold a procession, to bring our faith – gently but clearly – onto the streets of our cities is a gift, I believe, that we bring to people. But we must never be aggressive or arrogant. We must just be thankful.”

As well as leading the procession, the Cardinal celebrated Mass at the parish of Corpus Christi – a hidden gem in the very heart of Covent Garden that has stood for over 140 years. Long established as a centre for Eucharistic devotion, the Church was the first in England to be dedicated to Corpus Christi after the Protestant Reformation.

On 3 June, Cardinal Nichols raised the parish to the dignity of the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

“Over the past four years it has been beautifully renovated and if anybody is ever in London, and in Covent Garden, please come to Corpus Christi church in Maiden Lane. You will get a glimpse of heaven and an embrace of God’s mercy, peace and calmness in the midst of a busy city.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols is a keynote speaker at Adoremus – the Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage that will be held in Liverpool from 7 – 9 September 2018.


Cardinal Nichols offers a reflection on the Corpus Christi Blessed Sacrament procession through Covent Garden.