Bishop Alan writes from Krakow:
“Twenty-five hours on coach and ferry brought the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service Pilgrimage to Krakow for World Youth Day 2016. No undue delays and a good journey with lots of noise, laughter and a little sleep.
Krakow is now packed with countless thousands of young pilgrims. Lots of conversations and new friends from what seems to be every country of the world.
I have met bishops from Papua New Guinea, Africa, Australia and France and even helped the Bishop of Helsinki with his mitre!
I have also met with pilgrims from Brentwood Diocese who have travelled with other groups – all happy and delighted to share their faith and joy in this Year of Mercy.
Our opening Mass was a great experience of the worldwide Catholic Church at prayer. Amazing singing and music, profound silence, and vast crowds of pilgrims.
Our Polish hosts have given us a great welcome and have organised things well. I have used my food vouchers in exchange for good basic meals – depending on the location there are enormous queues or sometimes none at all.
The weather is hot, sunny but sometimes with downpours. I got wet and muddy on the field and think I may be in the running for the ‘scruffiest bishop award’ at World Youth Day 2016.
Please pray for all our Brentwood pilgrims as we will continue pray for you!”