a sunny autumnal morning Strawberry Hill greeted the Pope
today as he visited St. Mary's College, Waldegrave Rd.
for the Big Assembly. School children from around the
country were addressed by Pope Benedict XVI who encouraged
them to think along the lines of Saintliness and to look
at the bigger picture rather than focus on one narrow
aim. The full transcript of his speech can be viewed here.
The Pope had a few minutes before he addressed the teachers
and religious educators and played tribute to their role
in the world and the responsibility they have.
Pope arrived from the Teddington end of Waldegrave road
and a crowd had gathered to greet the Pope. The cavalcade
arrived at about 10.15 and the Pope was momentarily visible
in the first car as the crowd eagerly greeted the cars
as they swept into St. Mary's. Throughout the Pope's visit
to St. Mary's it was possible to hear the singing, the
speeches and the Pope's addresses as the sound carried
to Strawberry Vale and the surrounding streets.
were a few protestors but they were certainly outnumbered
by those who came in good faith to catch a glimpse of
the Papal cavalcade on this unique day in Twickenham.
The crowd were very good humoured and cheered and chanted
"Viva Papa" as the cavalcade swept into St.
Mary's. The protestors had reckoned on the Pope arriving
from the Radnor Gardens end of Waldegrave Rd. and so their
protest may not have been seen at this point.
Vatican security team
was high as one might expect with police lining Waldegrave
Rd. and having a presence in the surrounding streets.
At no point were there any problems or issues and the
police should be commended for the way they handled the
visit. Waldegrave Rd. was open for pedestrians and people
were free to take up a position within the barriers.
line Waldegrave Rd.
Pope after the outdoor ceremony went to the
Waldegrave Room to meet interfaith representatives.
Outside people were not sure which way the Pope would
leave, the way he came in or perhaps another way? At about
12.50 the Pope left St. Mary's this time passing the protestors
as the cavalcade went towards Radnor Gardens and turned
left towards Twickenham. The Arcadian Times gambled on
the Pope going back the way he had come and so did not
see the Pope's departure.
camera's loomed over Strawberry Hill
the Pope had gone the guests left St. Mary's and probably
never in the history of Strawberry Hill have so many religious
people, nuns, priests and other churchmen been seen wandering
the roads and making their way to coaches, cars or Strawberry
Hill train station to return home or to go to
Lambeth Palace to see the next stage of the Pope's visit.
played its role with honour in this papal visit. With
helicopters hovering, police lining Waldegrave Rd. occasional
roars of police motorcycles passing and the world media
congregating with their TV crews for the visit of Pope
Benedict XVI, this was certainly a unique day and one
that will be remembered by all those present who came
to see the Pope at St. Mary's, Twickenham.