A saint has walked and talked with the people of Surrey

02/09/2016 12:00 pm

While millions gather in Rome, the people of Surrey remember Mother Teresa's Many Visits and contacts in their county.

On the weekend of the canonisation of St Teresa of Calcutta, the 20,000 Surrey parishioners of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton will be remembering her presence in Surrey.

A research project, commissioned by Mgr Barry Wymes, retired priest who met Mother Teresa on a number of occasions, is publishing a commemorative booklet which will be distributed in all Surrey parishes over the weekend of 3rd-4th September. A website has also been launched,, which is full of images and memories, as well as reminding us of the message of Mother Teresa.

“I met Mother Teresa on a number of occasions,” says Mgr Barry Wymes, “and I felt that it was important to allow her to speak to a new generation. Her words about the loneliness she encountered here in the UK and need to love our neighbour locally have not diminished over time.”

Mother Teresa’s contacts in Surrey started in the 1950s with a group based in Cobham who founded the co-workers of Mother Teresa. She visited schools such as St John the Baptist Catholic School in Woking to collect money they had raised for her. Her Surrey visits culminated in a gathering of 2,000 young Catholics from all over Arundel & Brighton Diocese who heard her speak in Guildford Cathedral in September 1974. “I wanted the young people to be able to say that they had met a real Christian,” said Mgr Barry Wymes, who organised the event. “Little did I know that 42 years later I would witness her canonisation. We will be reliving this weekend a great saint who has walked and talked with the people of Surrey.”

A documentary film, produced by Kate Wilkinson, researcher on Mother Teresa in Surrey, will be launched on the evening of 2nd September, in Weybridge Parish at 7.30pm. All are welcome. Many people who participated in this project and who met Mother Teresa will be present at this celebration evening.