Your Gifts of Faith for the Holy Father
Listen to Father Martin Edwards’s reflections on the Papal Visit
Thank you for your Gifts of Faith for the Holy Father!
During the Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK earlier this year, Aid to the Church in Need presented him with a special Commemorative Book containing the names of 7,224 supporters who pledged Gifts of Faith in support of the Holy Father.
Graham Hutton, a trustee of the charity, made the presentation to the Pontiff during an audience at the Apostolic Nunciature in Wimbldeon on the morning of Friday 17th September.
Confirming the presentation in a text message sent immediately after the audience to Neville Kyrke-Smith, UK director of Aid to the Church in Need, Mr Hutton wrote: “It was lovely – the Holy Father took the book and looked through it!”
Mr Hutton said: “I was presented to the Holy Father, along with about 20 others, after his private morning Mass at the Nunciature and before his visit to St Mary’s College, Twickenham.
“I was able to explain briefly what the book contained and to show a few pages of it to the Holy Father who smiled his beautiful smile and expressed his gratitude.
“It was a lovely and unforgettable experience to meet the Pope and to be able to assure him of the support and prayers of Aid to the Church in Need in our countries.”
Mr Hutton described how he felt privileged to present the book on behalf of the charity’s supporters.
He said: “It was a great honour for me to be asked to present the book containing the names of all those benefactors who had been praying for the Holy Father over the last few months.”
Mr Hutton added: “I was greatly moved when I was first given the book as I could see how fervent our benefactors had been in their prayerful support for Pope Benedict and also to see how beautifully this had been recorded in the lovely book.”
The Commemorative Book
After months of preparation and build-up, we can finally reveal photographs of the Commemorative Book, which marks the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
Aid to the Church in Need's Commemorative Book to mark Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UK
Aid to the Church in Need's logo on the front of the Commemorative Book
The spine of the Commemorative Book for Pope Benedict XVI
Detail of the stitching on the Commemorative Book
The title page of the Commemorative Book for Pope Benedict XVI
The Gifts of Faith offered by Aid to the Church in Need supporters for the Holy Father
The title page for the England segment of the Commemorative Book
The title page for the Ireland segment of the Commemorative Book
The title page for the Scotland segment of the Commemorative Book
The title page for the Wales segment of the Commemorative Book
The title page for the Worldwide segment of the Commemorative Book
A page showing some of the 7,224 names of faithful contained in the Commemorative Book
Aid to the Church in Need's Commemorative Book and presentation box to mark Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI receives Aid to the Church in Need's Gifts of Faith from Graham Hutton, a trustee of the charity
But more important is what the book represents. You have devoted more than six months of continuous prayer in solidarity with the Pope.
And it also represents your committed support for suffering Christians in the Middle East – Pope Benedict XVI’s top priority for Aid to the Church in Need.
Making the Commemorative Book
This very special book is the result of four months of hard work – most of all the dedicated support of the 7,224 faithful who pledged their Gifts of Faith for the Holy Father.
The book was handmade by bookbinder and conservationist Dieter Räder of Blissett Bookbinders in Acton, west London. We are extremely grateful to Dieter and Blissett’s for their advice, expertise and commitment to this important project. In the photograph, Dieter displays the fruits of his labours.
Prior to the binding, the 7,224 names and towns of supporters were painstakingly collated and the design of the pages carefully created.
And there was also a visit to Holy Family Parish in Sutton Green, Surrey – just five minutes from Aid to the Church in Need’s office – to photograph the stained glass windows of Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George and Saint Patrick which feature on the title pages for the countries of the United Kingdom.