Papal visit: schedule of activity

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.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright

Related information

Public access and transport

Guidance on public access and travel and transport in the Westminster area on Friday 17 September:

Papal address tweets

Follow Pope Benedict's arrival at Westminster Hall and his speech:

Pope Benedict in the UK

Find out more about Pope Benedict in the United Kingdom: