Of all the photographs of all the places I visit and share with you this building holds more spiritual significance to me than any other, for it was in the Birmingham Oratory that I truly discovered the Mass. Although I first experienced the Mass at St Marie's on returning to university and having the courage to go it alone having been once with a friend my closest Catholic Church was the Birmingham Oratory.
And so two or three times a week after lectures having finished for the day I would wrap up warm take hold of my CTS Simple Prayer Book and attend the 17.45 Mass. I would sit at the back with my little book and I would watch and I would listen and I would practice. I learnt the prayers, about blessing yourself with holy water as you enter the church and genuflecting when you cross before the tabernacle. I learnt about the true presence and the saints and the stories of Christ.
I learnt more sat at the back of that church watching and listening to the priests as they said Mass than I can ever put into words. Later as I grew in faith and confidence it also became the place where I would first said the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross.
And finally it is the place where I received instruction in the faith and during the Ester Vigil of 2008 stood and professed that I believe that the Holy Catholic Church is the One True Word of God and received my first Holy Communion.
These slides can only hope to portray how truly special this building is.