Introduction

The 1982 Visit

In the summer of 1982 His Holiness Pope John Paul II travelled to Great Britain for a historic six day tour that saw him greet and bless hundreds of thousands of people at 16 different venues. It was the first time that a pope had visited these lands in over 400 years, since before the Reformation, making his kissing of the ground on arrival at Gatwick airport on the 28 May - a moving start to the occasion. The first stop was Westminster Cathedral and from there he travelled to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace, the sick at Southwark Cathedral, religious at Roehampton, Dr Robert Runcie in Canterbury Cathedral, representatives from the Polish Community at Crystal Palace and thousands of young people at National Youth Rally in Cardiff, to mention just some of the highlights. A day-and-a-half of his visit was spent north of the border in Scotland. The Holy Father began in Edinburgh greeted by thousands of young people at Murrayfield. This was followed by his attendance at a gathering for priests and religious. On 1 June he was met by Christian leaders, he then visited Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Rosewell, addressed the Bishops’ Conference in Edinburgh, before travelling to Glasgow to meet students at St Andrew’s College, finishing with an open air Mass at Bellahouston Park.

The 1982 Visit

Scotland

The Holy Father spent a day-and-a-half of his tour north of the border in Scotland. Although the time was short, the Pope visited a total of seven venues and... Read more

The 1982 Visit

Wembley Stadium

Wembly Stadium provided the setting for the first open-air Mass of Pope John Paul II's visit to Britain. The stadium, which no longer exists, was a venue whe... Read more

The 1982 Visit

Canterbury

Ecumenical relations formed a key part of the first Papal trip to Britain more than 400 years since the Reformation. Canterbury Cathedral was the focus on da... Read more