Latest Channel 4 News:
Row over Malaysian state's coins
'Four shot at abandoned mine shaft'
Rain fails to stop Moscow wildfires
Cancer blow for identical twins
Need for Afghan progress 'signs'

Young Catholic prepares to welcome Pope

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 17 September 2010

Paschal Uche will welcome the Pope on behalf of Britain's young people outside Westminster Cathedral on Saturday. The 21-year old has been telling Channel 4 News he feels "happy and humbled".

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Britain (Reuters)

Tens of thousands of people have already lined streets and packed into parks in an attempt to see the Pope.

Few will get as close to Benedict XVI as Paschal Uche from east London.

The 21-year old will welcome the pontiff on behalf of the country's young people: "Why it's me I don't know, it could have been anyone. 

"I feel very happy and humbled to have been chosen and basically I get to say a little bit about what young Catholics do in the country and what we hope for his visit."

It's nearly 30 years since the last papal visit to Britain.

Paschal told Channel 4 News that there is a lot of enthusiasm among young Catholics: "It is once in a lifetime, and for those who are aware of how much it means there's so much excitement, there's such a buzz on Facebook, on Twitter.

"Everyone is just wanting to grasp this moment and the feeling is that we're just so excited and we're ready to celebrate our faith. It won't necessarily come round again in our generation so there's a lot of excitement and anticipation."

The Pope spent the first day of his visit in Scotland.

Tens of thousands of people lined streets in Edinburgh before the pontiff travelled to Glasgow for mass at Bellahouston Park.

Paschal said he is confident the Pope will enjoy his visit to Britain: "I hope we don't excite him too much; he's not the youngest of men.

"He's been around and seen similar crowds so we just hope to convey that the church is still living and alive." 

The Pope's visit to Britain comes at a time of controversy for the Catholic Church.

Paschal told Channel 4 News it was a time for Catholics to come together and support Benedict XVI: "I'm sure in his prayer time he keeps us in his prayers, the young people, and it's a fantastic opportunity for us to show tangibly that we're still there.

"We're behind him, we support him and we love him.

"Especially at a time when the church is going through some stuff, it's a great opportunity for solidarity to show that we are there and he is showing us that he is also there for us."

The 21-year old will welcome the Pope on Saturday outside Westminster Cathedral: "My mum is more excited than me I think.

"Recently I was in the paper and she got loads of copies of it and I think she'll keep them forever.

"It's really about treasuring the moment which I really hope we can do as a whole, the church as a whole.  Treasure this moment and take it on."

Send this article by email

More on this story

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Watch the Latest Channel 4 News

Watch Channel 4 News when you want

Latest UK news

More News blogs

View RSS feed

Sangin 'not a retreat'


Author Patrick Hennessey on the Helmand redeployment.

Who is horse-boy?


Hoof or spoof? Google Street View mystery figure speaks.

'Serious loss of discipline'


Saville inquiry condemns British soldiers for Bloody Sunday.

Afghan fatalities in full

British soldiers killed in Afghanistan

The full list of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

How to tweet

How and why to follow the Channel 4 News family on Twitter.

Most watched


Find out which reports and videos are getting people clicking online.

Channel 4 © 2010. Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites.