In September we had a wonderful celebration of the Eucharist here in Liverpool, and the thanks of all of us should go to the many people who were involved with the organisation of this event, which brought joy to everyone who attended.
I was lucky enough to help look after the archive exhibition that took place on the Friday and Saturday in the Metropolitan Cathedral. It contained items from the Eucharistic Congress in London in 1908, as well as many other articles connected with the Eucharist in general.
I was particularly touched by one simple object, a flat stone covered in white cotton material with a small cross embroidered on it. It turned out to be an altar stone carried by priests-in-hiding in the 17th and 18th centuries in Lancashire. They would celebrate Mass on it in the houses of those brave people who hid them. The stone could well have been carried by our local martyrs, St Edmund Arrowsmith and St Ambrose Barlow. How amazing to be able to see such a relic.
There were a number of vestments on display too. One was a very heavily embroidered cope from 16th-century Italy which had been worn at different times by three priests who all had gone on to become Pope.
I met some lovely people, including a lady from Goa who showed me pictures on her phone of the embroideries that she had done for her church at home; there was also a family from Mexico, who were on holiday in Liverpool, and a fellow UCM member from London.
I will be looking out for you all at our diocesan study evening at St Margaret Mary's, Pilch Lane, on Wednesday 10 October at 7.30pm, and at the business meeting on Saturday 20 October at 1pm in the Gibberd Room at the Cathedral.