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Westminster Cathedral couldn’t fit the Good Friday crowd

Westminster Cathedral

N19± | CC BY-SA 3.0

J-P Mauro - published on 04/05/24

So many Catholics showed up for Good Friday that the largest church in the UK was overloaded, with similar turnouts in some US cities.

Easter Triduum services drew enormous crowds in the UK. Westminster Cathedral, the largest Catholic Church in the UK, reportedly had to turn people away as the church could not hold the entire crowd that turned out for Good Friday. Similar scenarios played out in some US cities as well, suggesting the National Eucharistic Revival is having a positive impact. 

The Catholic Herald reports that Westminster Cathedral, with its 3,000 seats, was unable to accommodate all the faithful who turned out on Good Friday. Even while opening the back of the church up for standing room, the crowd was just too large to fit. 

Robert Stephenson-Padron was one of the faithful who was turned away, arriving at the Cathedral after it had reached capacity. Rather than being upset, he told the Catholic Herald, he turned to social media to show off the enormous turnout and celebrate the turnout

“It’s like everybody is becoming Catholic,” Stephenson-Padron told the Catholic Herald. “Easter 2024 is very special. [It is the] first time I can recall since my baptism in 2006 where it seems there is a flood of new converts into the holy Catholic Church. So much so, that it appears to be widely noticed.”

There have been large numbers of people being received into the Catholic faith this year from various places around the world.

Australia, for example, noted that 266 would be welcomed at the Sydney cathedral. Even France, struggling with a decline in Catholic practice, welcomed a record 12,000 new Catholics.

More full churches

With no way to attend the Good Friday service at the cathedral, Stephenson-Padron explained that he walked two miles to the nearby St. James Church in Spanish Place. Here too, however, he found that all the seats had been filled. Thankfully, St. James still had some standing room left, where he was able to take part in this special liturgy. 

Stephenson-Padron reported to the Herald that he was able to get into the Holy Saturday Mass at Westminster Cathedral, but this Mass was also jammed packed and standing room only. The report noted several spots in the US where the Masses were just as full during the Triduum, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in New York City, the crowds at which can be seen below. 

Good FridayHoly WeekUnited KingdomUnited States
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