Annual Migrants Mass in Southwark


The Migrants Mass 2015 was a huge success, with nearly 1500 in the Cathedral, and the banner procession way along the road as they came in.  We were not counting how many nationalities and ethnic groups there were, but the banners just kept coming.  The music was a highlight for me, with Frances Novillo leading. We had hymns from Congo, Slovakia, Cameroun, China and more, but the one that stole the show was the Nigerian chant after the Communion, ‘All I want to say is Thank you Lord’!  It had us all on our feet, clapping and dancing.  Archbishop Peter Smith gave a clear statement of the Catholic position on migration, trafficking, detention and race, flagging up the necessity of balancing the pressures of immigration with the common good.  Along with the Cardinal and several bishops from the London area, the Mass was attended by many London mayors, some ambassadors and 2 MPs.  A reception was provided afterwards in honour of the 175th   anniversary of the Tablet newspaper and the Mass’s own tenth anniversary.    The exotic food supplied by the ethnic chaplaincies and the Justice and Peace Commisions  disappeared quite speedily alas!