St Chad’s Cathedral was a joyous place to be as a Service of Praise took place to welcome the Commonwealth Games.

Churches across the city have worked together to organise and host the ecumenical service just days before the Games begin.

In attendance yesterday (Sun 24 July) were Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, John Crabtree OBE; the High Sheriff of the West Midlands, David Moorcroft OBE and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Maureen Cornish.

The service began with a procession of church leaders.

Archbishop Bernard Longley delivered words of welcome followed by greetings from the Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Mayor.

Bishop David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, gave the opening prayer.

The service featured prayers, readings, music and song with input from the Birmingham City Council Workplace Choir and the Smile Community Children’s Choir.

The Preacher was Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary of Churches Together in England, and Prayers of Intercession were read by children and young people from Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Aston; St Chad’s Catholic Primary School, Newtown and Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Small Heath.

During the service BBC Radio WM’s Nikki Tapper interviewed sports personalities Donna Fraser, six times, 200 metre English Schools Champion and the 1991, 400 metre European Junior Champion.

Followed by David Moorcroft OBE, this year’s High Sheriff of the West Midlands, and a former middle-distance and long-distance runner, and former world record holder for the 5,000 metres.

After the service the congregation gathered outside the cathedral and sang ‘Lean on Me’.

Let the Games begin!

To find the nearest Catholic Churches to venues hosting Commonwealth Games events please visit our dedicated webpage

Photo Gallery

Service of Praise to welcome the Commonwealth Games

Watch! Videos from the Service of Praise