Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Patron of the Anglican Centre in Rome, is to give this year’s annual UK lecture, to be held on October 26.

Cardinal Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, will speak on ‘The World of Reason and the World of Faith: Reflections on the Visit of Pope Benedict XVI ten years on.’

In 2010, Pope Benedict made the first State Visit by a Pope to the United Kingdom; the only previous papal visit, by Pope St John Paul II, was a pastoral visit. The 2010 visit mixed pomp and ceremony with liturgical and spiritual moments and drew huge crowds on to the streets. Among its highlights were a joint meeting with Anglican and Catholic bishops at Lambeth Palace, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and evensong at Westminster Abbey, again with Archbishop Rowan Williams, and also the Dean and Chapter of the Abbey, both events celebrating the remarkable progress made in the last half-century in theological dialogue and fraternal relationship between the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict also delivered a major address to parliamentarians and other major public figures in Westminster Hall, where he spoke on religion in the public square. It was a very well-received speech, in which he warned: “The world of reason and the world of faith – the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief – need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilization. Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has been Archbishop of Westminster since 2009. He studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome and then studied at the University of Manchester for an MA in Theology, researching the theology of St John Fisher. He served in various parish and administrative roles until 1991 when he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Westminster, before being appointed as Archbishop of Birmingham in 2000. Nine years later he returned to Westminster as its archbishop. He was created cardinal by Pope Francis in 2014. He is a member of four bodies of the Roman Curia: the Congregation for Clergy, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Oriental Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Given the Covid-19 restrictions, the lecture will be held online via Zoom on October 26 at 6pm London time. The number of participants is limited by Zoom technology, so if you wish to be involved, please contact the Membership Services Office via [email protected]