Cardinal to bless young evangelists in London's West End

 Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor will visit the heart of London's West End tomorrow morning to bless a weekend of evangelisation taking place there. From 10pm tonight, (Friday) 'welcome points' are being set up around Soho Square to greet clubbers and partygoers with carol singing, hot drinks, and mince pies. Invitations to visit the church will be distributed, as well as leaflets explaining what the Christian faith is all about. Throughout the next two days, more than 50 young Catholics from the Emmanuel Community, Youth 2000, Verbum Dei and other groups will be inviting Christmas shoppers and clubbers to come and experience God's love at St Patrick's Church, Soho Square. Tomorrow night, (15 December) the Eucharist, will be visible above the crib instead of the traditional figure of the child Jesus. "The idea" says parish priest Fr Alexander Sherbrooke "is to show that Christmas - God's coming among His people as flesh and blood - is not just something that happened 2000 years ago, but is still happening now. Jesus still wants to come into peoples' lives to bring peace and joy, just as he did when he first came." On one side of the church, people will have the opportunity to speak confidentially with a priest, if they wish, and also to be reconciled with God and the church. It will also be possible for whole families to receive God's blessing. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is attending tomorrow to bless and speak with all those involved. In this way he will be embodying the vision he described in his address to the National Conference of Priests in Leeds, in September, where he spoke of the need for a change of culture in the Catholic Church. In his speech then the Cardinal said Catholics should move from looking after their own, to becoming more outward looking. He said there was a need to create small communities of faith where people would be spiritually nourished and where healthy, interdependent relationships could be formed. Fr Alexander said: "When we first put out the word that we were going to be doing this, many people came forward to offer their help, most of them young. There's a strong presence from the Emmanuel Community, and there are also people from Youth 2000, Verbum Dei and others. I'm delighted with the response we've received so far." See also: Catholic evangelists coming to London's West End (ICN 28 November 2001)

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