A cricket team from the Vatican will play at the Ribble Valley's Stonyhurst College as part of its UK tour.
The Vatican (St Peter’s) Cricket Team's 2018 Tour of England will start at the college with the inaugural cricket match between Stonyhurst Gentlemen's XI and the Vatican XI taking place on Wednesday, July 4th, at 1pm.
The 4th Light of Faith Tour of England for the Vatican XI, the team last visited the UK on an official tour in 2016.
The team’s objectives are to increase the awareness of the importance of religion for society and promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue through cricket. Cricket matches thus serve as platforms to bring different communities together and to promote what Pope Francis has called the "culture of encounter and dialogue".
During the tour, the Vatican (St Peter’s) Cricket Team will also play against Her Majesty’s Prison and Young Offenders Institution XI, Commonwealth XI at Indian Gymkhana Ground, Osterley, London, the Houses of Parliament XI, Chiswick House, London, and others.
St Peter’s Cricket Club was officially founded in 2014 and consists of priests, deacons and seminarians studying and working in Rome and the Vatican. The team is under the official patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture and members come from across the Commonwealth.
Fr Eamonn O’Higgins LC, manager of the Saint Peter’s Cricket Team, said: “We are extremely pleased to be embarking on our 4th Light of Faith Tour of England. We are delighted that the tour will begin with a match against Stonyhurst College, a school which has a long history of combining faith, academics, and sporting excellence. It promises to be an excellent first fixture on an exciting tour.”
For the fixture against the Vatican XI, Stonyhurst College has formed a team consisting of current pupils, alumni, staff and friends.