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A Saint for Birmingham

In September 2010, Cardinal Newman continued along this path to canonisation when he was declared ‘Blessed’ during a huge celebration in Cofton Park on the outskirts of Birmingham, the culmination of Pope Benedict XVI ‘s momentous state visit to Britain. In October 2008 the Cardinal’s remains had been transferred from his simple grave in Rednal, south west Birmingham, to the magnificent Oratory Church near Five Ways in Edgbaston, close to where he died, a sign that a saint for Birmingham may soon be declared.

It was in the Oratory Church that J.R.R. Tolkein, the author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, attended Mass for a number of years.

John Henry Newman Catholic College here in Chelmsley Wood is the latest in a long line of schools in Britain to be honoured with his name. It is also in Birmingham that we find Newman University College, where many teachers at our school trained, which celebrates his close connection with our city.

At the news of his death in 1890, the London Times wrote, ‘whether Rome declares him a saint or not, he will be canonised in the thoughts of pious people of many creeds in England.’