The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, called for prayers for MG Rover yesterday, following news that the company has gone into administration - putting more than 6,000 jobs at risk. During his homily at Vespers for Pope John Paul II in St Chad's Cathedral, after asking for prayers for the cardinals who will be voting for the next Pope, Archbishop Nichols said: "... I ask you to keep in your prayers those who are at present looking closely at the future prospects for MG Rover, here in this city. Much depends on what they find, and on their skill and determination that, we hope, will match that of the proven dedication of the workforce. "Pope John Paul, unusually for a Pontiff, worked in a chemical factory and in a stone quarry. The fears and aspirations of those who work with skillful hands were never far from his heart." Archbishop Nichols added: "Pope John Paul II would share our anxiety today as we remember with gratitude his outstanding leadership, his deep humanity and his radiant love of the Lord." Prime Minister Tony Blair went directly to Birmingham from Rome on Friday - where he had attended the funeral of the Pope - to take part in a meeting to discuss the crisis.
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