The relics of St Thomas Becket which were united with their British counterparts on Monday at Westminster Cathedral have continued their tour of the UK. On 24 May the elbow on St Thomas Becket was at the Abbey during evensong. The Hungarian President and his wife attended, laying a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier before the service started.
On 25 May there was a Mass said in St Mary’s Undercroft Chapel in the Palace of Westminster by Fr Pat Brown and concelebrated by Fr Nicholas Schofield and a Hungarian bishop. Also in attendance was Chaplain to the Speaker Rev Rose Hudson- Wilkin and the British Ambassador to Hungary. In his welcome Fr Pat spoke about how the relics came to be in Hungary, and welcomed the distinguished guests.
During his homily, Fr Nicholas Schofield, archivist for the Diocese of Westminster, told the congregation that ‘the relic in front of us, brought from Esztergom, tells another story – a story of grace and fidelity. St Thomas was a man of prayer, a loyal servant and a dutiful shepherd, always careful to defend the Church’s freedom from what he saw as “tyranny” ‘He suggested that ‘All those involved in public affairs can surely see St Thomas as a patron; not a saint who fled the world but one who was at its very heart, a man who led an extraordinarily busy life.’ A statement that surely must have resonated with the MPs and diplomats that made up the majority of the congregation.
After the Mass there was a reception in the Palace of Westminster. The relic will be displayed in St Margarets Church until 27 May where it will more to Rochester Cathedral for Solemn Evensong. The following day, the 28 May it will move to Canterbury, where it will remain until 29 May.