Vatican cricket team to play Anglicans in UK

Team of Rome-based priests and seminarians travels to England

The Vatican-based St Peter’s Cricket Club, comprising priests and seminarians, has announced its first tour to England on 12 September.

The so-called Tour of Light will culminate in a historic charity match between Roman Catholic and Anglican teams in the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral on 19 September, to raise awareness of slavery and human trafficking.

The match is free but all donations will go towards the Global Freedom Network, the joint Anglican-Catholic anti-human trafficking initiative launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis in March.

The cricket tour features a series of warm-up matches, including one against a side made up of Queen Elizabeth's servants and guards from Windsor Castle.

The St Peter’s team was formed late last year and comprises mainly Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan seminarians, and is captained by English priest Fr Tony Currer. Its honorary president Cardinal Gainfranco Ravasi, the dynamic head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the tour was designed to involve the Catholic church more in sport.

Archbishop Welby met the St Peter's team during his recent visit to Rome.