Saturday 3 September to Monday 5 September 2022

The life and legacy of St Bernadette has touched the lives of people across the world.  In September and October this year, the relics of St Bernadette will journey on pilgrimage to England, Scotland, and Wales for the very first time.  This very special once in a lifetime event will provide an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the special gifts and charisms of Lourdes, in a church or cathedral near you.

Westminster Cathedral is blessed to welcome the relics from 3-5 September.  All are welcome to join us for this special event to enrich and renew ourselves spiritually. 

We hope and pray that through the intercession of St Bernadette many graces will be given to all who come and venerate her relics, including healing, conversion and the wonderful discovery of vocation.  Come and experience the miracle of Lourdes with us!

To plan your visit, please check below for the most up-to-date information.  

VENERATION OF THE RELICS

Saturday 3 September 1pm – Monday 5 September 6am  (No need for advance booking, just please join the queue on the Piazza for entry via the West Doors. Be advised that at peak times, especially before or after liturgies, we expect long queues. Wheelchair access will be available at all times without the need for queuing.)

SATURDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER

11am Solemn Mass of Welcome* – with enshrining of the relics (Celebrated by H.E. Cardinal Vincent Nichols)

2.30pm – Service of Anointing of the Sick* (Presided by Bishop John Sherrington) Admission by ticket only. Tickets available from your Parish Priest.

6pm – Vigil Mass of Sunday* (Celebrated by Bishop Nicholas Hudson)

10pm – Night Prayer of the Church (Compline)* followed by an All-night Vigil

SUNDAY, 4 SEPTEMBER

6am, 8am, 7pm – Mass*

9.30am – Sung Mass* (Celebrated by Bishop Paul McAleenan)

12noon – Solemn Sung Mass* (Celebrated by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, sung by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral)

3pm – Rosary*

4pm – Solemn Vespers with Benediction*(Sung by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral)

5.30pm – Sung Mass*  (Celebrated by Bishop John Sherrington)

9pm – Rosary*

10pm – Night Prayer of the Church (Compline)* followed by an All-night Vigil

MONDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER

6am – Mass*

8am – Mass of Farewell*  (Celebrated by H.E. Cardinal Vincent Nichols)

 (*) Entry for Masses and Liturgies will be via the side door of the Cathedral on Ambrosden Avenue.

When full capacity is reached, there will be no further entry.

Find out more about the tour of the Relics at stbernadette.org.uk

From Monday 25 July to Thursday 1 September, the following changes apply to the liturgical schedule during the summer break for the Cathedral Choir:

Weekday Vespers from Monday to Friday take the form of said Evening Prayer at the usual time of 5pm; the weekday 5.30pm Mass is said; the Sunday Solemn Mass at noon is sung by a Cantor; and Solemn Vespers on Sunday afternoon at 4pm are also led by a cantor in English.

Wednesday 31 August, 19:30 – 21:00

Andreas Sieling, Cathedral Organist of the Great Sauer Organ of the Berliner Dom presents our fifth Grand Organ Festival recital.

Andreas will perform:

Improvisation sur le “Te Deum” – Tournemire

Passacaglia – Kerll arr. Straube

“Nun ruhen alle Wälder” (Op. 52 no. 25) – Dienel

Choral in A minor – Franck

Allegro Scherzando (Op. 37) – Dienel

Passacaglia – Muffat arr. Straube

“Victimae paschali” – Tournemire

Tickets are available on the door – £15/£12

For reasons beyond our control, the livestreaming of the Sunday 12noon Solemn Mass is temporarily suspended. In its place, the Sung Mass at 10am on Sundays will be livestreamed. We hope that in the near future we shall be able to return to the Solemn Sung Mass for the Sunday livstream. Please watch the posts here for further news on this.

If you are an adult living in the Cathedral parish, or come regularly to the Cathedral for Mass, and desire to become a Catholic or want to explore the Catholic faith, then you are welcome to join the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Course which will commence in September.  This Course is also for Catholics who were baptised as young children but did not move on to receive their First Holy Communion and Confirmation, as well as for those baptised in non-Catholic communities of faith.  For further information and to enrol please contact Fr Vincent Mbu’i on chaplains@rcdow.org.uk (please note that Fr Vincent is presently on leave and returns at the beginning of September) or speak to one of the priests after Sunday Mass.

Every September up to six boys join Westminster Cathedral Choir School (WCCS) in Year 4 as choristers.  Becoming a chorister offers a boy the opportunity to sing in a world-famous choir, and to join a thriving, inclusive, independent school for boys age 4 – 13.  All choristers receive generous scholarships, supplemented by means-tested bursaries worth up to 100% of fees.  Contact Lucy Auger to find out more.  Telephone 020 7798 9081 or email lauger@choirschool.com.

Following the recent plenary meeting of the Bishops of England and Wales in Cardiff, all Catholics are invited to return to Mass at Pentecost.  The invitation states that: ‘the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation no longer apply‘ and that (…) ‘”Virtual viewing” of Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Obligation (…) It has always been the understanding of the Church that when the freedom of any Catholic to attend Mass in person is impeded (…), because of situations such as ill health, care for the sick or legitimate fear, this is not a breach of the Sunday Obligation‘. To read the entire document, please go to:  https://www.cbcew.org.uk/spring-plenary-2022-resolution-returning-to-mass-at-pentecost/ .

The Bishops’ text will also be available in full in the June edition of Oremus, the Cathedral magazine

A Preparation Course for couples who wish to be married is planned to take place on the evenings of Thursdays 12, 19 and 26 May and 9 June from 7.30 to 9.30pm. The Course concludes with an afternoon session from 2 to 5.30pm on Saturday 18 June, followed by attendance at the 6pm Vigil Mass, at which the couples will be blessed.

It is expected that couples will attend all the sessions. For further information, or to register for the course, please contact Fr Brian O’Mahony (brianomahony@rcdow.org.uk) or Julie Hanssen (juliehanssen@rcdow.org.uk).

The Cathedral is delighted to announce that Suzi Pendlebury has been appointed as Cathedral Architect, succeeding Michael Drury after his 25 years in the role. She is a highly experienced conservation architect with the firm Caroe Architecture, having worked on a number of high profile repair projects including the major re-roofing of the dome at Ickworth House which is in the care of the National Trust. She is also Architect to the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich and has been overseeing grant-aided repairs at a number of Catholic churches in the diocese of East Anglia, notably the fine Victorian church of St Mary, Great Yarmouth.

Announcing the appointment, Fr Witoń said: ‘We are delighted to have Suzi joining our team at the Cathedral. Her knowledge and experience of repairing important historic buildings will be a great asset to us as we embark on new phases of repair’.

Suzi grew up in Kent, initially captivated by Augustus Pugin’s church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, and went on to study not only further buildings by him but also those of the great ecclesiastical architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries, alongside the main architectural curriculum. She has worked across a range of sectors in sensitive environments  and, following an award-winning refurbishment of the 1927 housing for working women in Hampstead Garden suburb, moved to work with Purcell Miller Tritton. There she focussed on works of conservation, repair and sensitive adaption including projects for English Heritage, the Royal Parks and the Palace of Westminster. In 2012, she joined Oliver Caroe, working as his deputy at St Paul’s Cathedral and assisting with other buildings in the firm’s portfolio, such as Ripon Cathedral and York Minster, along with her own appointment for George Gilbert Scott Jnr’s Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich.

She notes: ‘I am delighted to be appointed to the role of Westminster Cathedral Architect. Through all my work I enjoy conserving, repairing and keeping our built heritage thriving through careful interventions. Working not only with churches and cathedrals but with other buildings of high significance, I have built a broad understanding of the ever-changing challenges and opportunities that face these places, as they continue to serve us as our needs and expectations evolve through time. The work of the St Anne’s Gate Practice hitherto has brought the Cathedral to a turning point where it is now possible to fully develop and realise a plan for the future, serving as the Mother Church for our faith in England and Wales. It is a great honour to be able to serve Fr Witoń and the team caring for the Cathedral and its complex of ancillary buildings, conserving their past and ensuring their future’.

On Monday 28, Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March, the Cathedral itself will be closed to allow filming to take place and all services will take place in Cathedral Hall on Ambrosden Avenue. The Hall will open at the usual time of 7.30am and remain open throughout the day for private prayer, closing after the 5.30pm Mass.

Mass will be celebrated at the usual times of 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30 (not livestreamed) and 5.30pm (Sung); Vespers will be sung at 5pm; and there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 1.15 to 4.30pm.

Confessions will not be heard during this period, but the extended confession hours will begin on Thursday 31 March.

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your co-operation.