Wembley Stadium provided the setting for the first open-air Mass of Pope John Paul II's visit to Britain. The stadium, which has since been redeveloped, was the venue for England's 1966 World Cup football triumph.
Pope Saint John Paul II’s reason for being there was to signpost people to a glory that goes beyond space and time. Where the old stadium once stood is a 133m arch which can be seen across the skyline of north west London. On 29 May 1982, the Holy Father celebrated the first Mass of Pentecost. It’s thought that around 80,000 people attended from across England and Wales.
"English religious communities were scattered and destroyed, or fled to foreign lands. It is impossible here to name all the men and women religious of this period who followed our Lord to the point of giving their lives in defence of their faith."
John Paul II to the Catholic community: "I have come to renew with you our shared love and enthusiasm for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to confirm you in your faith and to share your joys and your hopes, your griefs and your anxieties."