Papal pilgrims must have pass – travellers advised

By on 27/08/2010 in News

People travelling to Birmingham hoping to attend the Papal mass in Cofton park are being advised that the Birmingham diocese's allocation has now been used up.

Birmingham City Council is aware that some people from the travelling community have made the pilgrimage from Ireland in order to attend the mass.

Attendance at the Cofton park mass is by pilgrim pass only and these have been allocated by the Roman Catholic Church through local parish priests. The arrival of pilgrims will be managed by coach and timed according to an agreed programme to ensure ease of access and departure at the site and to keep disruption to a minimum.

Councillior Martin Mullaney, cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said: “I understand people's desire to see the Pope during his visit to Birmingham, but access to the mass will be strictly controlled in the interests of safety and security. We have been advised by the Birmingham diocese that their allocation is now used up, so I would therefore advise anyone without a pilgrim pass to avoid the area.

 “I would also ask travellers who have come to Birmingham specifically for the Papal visit to help us communicate this message to friends and family who may be planning a pilgrimage without a pilgrim pass, so they can avoid disappointment and a wasted journey.”

Canon Patrick Browne of the Birmingham Roman Catholic diocese said: “We are delighted with the recent requests for Pilgrim Passes through the parishes and this office which means we have no more available for distribution. Due to the holiday period many people were away when the details were first made public and the recent demands means that we have now used up our quota.”

The council has already set up a public enquiry line for the Papal visit on 0121 675 1164.

As always, Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and partner agencies will use appropriate legislation to address any issues that arise as a result of travellers occupying land they do not have permission to be on.

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  1. michael says:

    It’s been announced on the Radio that the popes visit is costing £12M for the security alone. I hope that Birmingham council is making sure that it’s a self funding event as it’s so popular. It’s not reasonable that the Council Tax payers should be funding it if its not. This is a religious event.

  2. Lourdes says:

    Agreed, as this is a monority special interest group, then no public money at all should be going into it, after all a world tour by ‘insert rock band of choice here’ doesn’t ask for the state to susidise, so why does this occult gathering get special dispensation?