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Catholic Union welcomes Vatican Cricket Team to Parliament

The Catholic Union welcomed a team of cricket players from the Vatican to Parliament this week.

The team, known as St Peter’s First XI, are on a visit to the UK for their “Light of Faith” tour which has seen them play matches across the country as well as visit Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Catholic Union Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, welcomed the group to Parliament on Thursday 4 July as people across the country headed to the polls in the General Election.

This is the first time that the Vatican’s cricket team has toured the UK since 2018. The team’s manager, Fr Eamonn O’Higgins, said it was “good to be back”.

The new Catholic Chaplain to Parliament, Fr Christopher Colven, showed the group around the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, which is one of the oldest parts of the Palace of Westminster.

Earlier this year, the Catholic Union became the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Holy See, a cross-party group that aims to foster dialogue and understanding with the Vatican.

The team had been due to play a match against Parliament’s First XI cricket team, but this was postponed on account of the election. The team return to Rome on Friday 5 July.

Catholic Union Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, comments: “In the absence of any MPs, it was a great joy to welcome the Vatican Cricket Team to Parliament. It has been wonderful to see the team back in the UK and to have the opportunity to show them around Parliament. The Catholic Union has worked hard to strengthen links between Parliament and the Catholic community in this country and around the world. Visits such as this are a testament to the success of our efforts in recent years. This work will be needed all the more as newly-elected MPs head to Westminster for the start of this new Parliament.”