On Sunday 20th October, Shaykh Mahmood Dhalla, representing AMI, attended the invitation of the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham at Saint Chads Cathedral, Birmingham, to the celebration of Sung Evening Prayer of the Church marking the Canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
The service was presided by Cathedral Dean Mgr Timothy Menezes accompanied by the Very Revered Matt Thompson, Dean at St Philips Cathedral. The Cathedral filled with wonderful music as the choirs of St Chads and St Philips Cathedrals sang together with the newly restored organ.
Along with Archbishop Bernard Longley and Bishop David McGough, the service was attended by the Anglican bishops of Birmingham, Aston, Coventry and Lichfield: Bishops David Urquhart, Anne Hollinghurst, Dr Christopher Cocksworth and Michael Ipgrave, as well as the Lord Mayor Mohammed Azim and Lady Mayoress Miss Bushra Bi, Deputy Lieutenant Professor Deirdre Kelly, High Sheriff Michael Kuo and members of the Birmingham Faith Leaders.
Special guest Monsignor Roderick Strange, Visiting Professor at St Mary’s University, Twickenham and expert on John Henry Newman, preached the sermon. Using examples from Newman’s life, he spoke on the value and power of friendship, both ecumenical and inter-religious, and of the many conversions one can undergo in life as God calls us further into holiness.