On Friday 17 September, as part of his first official visit to the UK, Pope Benedict XVI will make an address in Westminster Hall to an audience of invited guests that will include Members of both houses of Parliament, diplomats and representatives of civic society.
Throughout its long history, Westminster Hall has been used for occasions of state, important ceremonies and events of national significance and provided the venue for the presentation of addresses to Members of both houses of Parliament.
Schedule of activity
The timings given are approximate and may be subject to change.
- Pope Benedict XVI departs Lambeth Palace: 5pm approx
Following a Fraternal Visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Benedict will journey from Lambeth Palace to Westminster in the popemobile across Lambeth Bridge and along Millbank.
- Arrives at Westminster Hall: 5.10pm approx
The Lord Great Chamberlain and the Yeoman Usher, on behalf of Black Rod, will meet the Pope at St Stephen’s Entrance.
The Lord Speaker, Baroness Helene Hayman and the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP will then greet Pope Benedict.
Safeguarding and protecting Westminster Hall and what takes place there are among the ceremonial duties of the Lord Speaker and Commons Speaker as key holders to Westminster Hall.
- Address to civic society: 5.20pm approx
Pope Benedict addresses Members of both houses of Parliament, diplomats and representatives of civic society.
- Departs Westminster Hall: 6pm approx
Pope Benedict will leave Westminster Hall by the North Door and depart Parliament via Carriage Gate to Westminster Abbey.
Image: Parliamentary copyright