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Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Welcome to this new series of Travellers’ Tales!

I’m very glad to be back on Premier, and excited to be able to introduce you, week by week, to some really interesting people, with great stories to tell - of faith, courage, doubt, grace, hope and love.

And, for my first show, it was a real delight to sit down for a chat with the Archbishop of Westminster, and head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

I was brought up in a vicarage, about as Anglican as anyone could be, so before speaking to the cardinal (in order to sound vaguely intelligent, or at the very least be able to address him properly) I confess I needed a bit of a crash course in Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy, Papal appointments, Vatican 2 etc, which came courtesy of his hugely helpful press secretary, the day before the interview.

Very good to be informed, but actually, when we spoke, the Cardinal was simply chatty, expansive and full of stories.

You’ll hear about his awareness of a vocation on the terraces of The Kop at Anfield as a teenager, the shock of going from there into the rarefied atmosphere of the English College in Rome (where his mum sent him the football pages of the Liverpool Echo each week), then his surprise as a young priest in Liverpool when a couple of heavies appeared out of nowhere to accompany him as he took the Blessed Sacrament out for home communion visits….just in case. His memories of the huge event (the size of which seemed to cause a certain amount of bafflement in Downing Street) that was the visit of Pope Benedict to the UK in 2010. His musings on what life might have been like if he’d remained a parish priest. His reflections on the past year of the pandemic, and where he has perceived God in it all.

Hope you’ll join me Hannah Scott-Joynt, with Cardinal Vincent Nichols on Saturday 10th April, at 1730, then every Saturday at the same time, here on Premier Radio.

Travellers’ Tales is brought to you by Premier Radio in partnership with the London District of the Methodist Church.