Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal's photos
Mass and Rite of Reception for Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop Nichols on BBC Radio 2 Pause for Thought

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster was on Radio 2’s Chris Evans breakfast show on Thursday 20 December. 

Listen to and read his Christmas Pause for Thought reflection below:


Listen to the reflection at 2 hours 56 minutes 27 seconds in by clicking here

The full text of the reflection is below
Did you know that the film ‘The Snowman’ has been a Christmas-time broadcast every year for the last 30 years? It’s a charming story, a classic silent movie with the exception of that wonderful song ‘Walking in the Air’ as boy and snowman fly far above the ground in joy and amazement. And this year there’s a sequel, too, introducing a snow dog to the story.

So there’s clearly something very enduring about this story. It appeals to children’s imagination and desire for friendship. It appeals to our adult longing for new innocence and simple goodness. Yet there’s also an underlying sadness to the whole story for we all know that the friendship of a snowman cannot last.

The true Christmas story has an even stronger quality of endurance. It too appeals to both the imagination and to our yearnings. It’s told over and over again, bringing comfort in adversity, courage in hardship and hope in even the darkest night.

We can enter the story of the birth of Jesus through the background music of carols in the supermarket or through the narrative of St Luke’s Gospel. Its outline remains the same: the gift of God, coming in humility and poverty, to bring great dignity and hope to every human being and summoning us to care for one another especially those who, like the infant Jesus, are in need.

We’re told that in this land the number of Christians, people who take the birth of Jesus as crucial in all human history, is decreasing. Yet the story will not be silenced. Its truth is stronger than neglect, ridicule or persecution. Churches and homes are being filled with its music and its grace for Jesus, unlike the snowman, is the friend who never leaves us, breaking through that ultimate separation of death itself.

May this celebration of his birth bring you great joy. May you too share in that true and trustworthy sense of knowing him as your friend and with him walking in the air!

+Vincent Nichols

Your thoughts
  • (Not published)
Latest news
  • Businesses invited to join the fight against modern slaveryBusinesses invited to join the fight against modern slavery

    Since its launch last month, the Evening Standard and Independent special investigation into modern slavery, Slaves On Our Streets, backed by Cardinal Vincent, Prime Minister Theresa May, Archbishop Justin Welby and other leaders, has had overwhel...

    more
  • CSAN highlights burden of loneliness

    At this year’s annual parliamentary reception on 25th October, CSAN, the Catholic Social Action Network, chose to focus the spotlight on loneliness in all its forms. Addressing the gathering, Cardinal Vincent spoke of the paradox of loneliness ...

    more
  • Cardinal Vincent offers prayers and condolences for Las Vegas shooting victims

    Cardinal Vincent has offered prayers and condolences for the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. In a letter to Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas, the Cardinal expresses his 'deep sorrow' at the 'murderous attack', offering prayers 'for the r...

    more