The Pope’s visit to St Mary’s University College on Friday provides a rare chance for Twickenham to feature in the national news for matters unconnected with 30 men chasing an oval ball. The state visit has generated some forceful opinions and strong emotions. The fact that these can be aired without fear is great. Freedom of speech and all that. But the mood seems very different from when Pope John Paul II visited the UK in 1982. Back then the UK had a Conservative government involved in a far away conflict while struggling to drag the country out of recession at home. And now? Yes, let’s move on.
A local blog is not the forum to get into theological arguments or discuss Pope Benedict’s stance on the issues of the day. There are bars and proper websites for that kind of thing. No, the key issue here is what are people going to be wearing on Friday?
The Protest the Pope brigade are sporting rather fetching bright red “Pope Nope” T-shirts. A sunny Twickenham Sunday afternoon revealed the presence of one such Poper Noper on the Thames towpath. But what about the many thousands of people who support the visit, surely they need something too? Well, if you are jolly keen and want to show it in a very English way then twickerati recommends a yellow and white T-shirt emblazoned with a simple: Holy Father? Rather!
Get yours before it’s too late!