Ribble Valley pupils to play cricket at the Vatican

The Stonyhurst cricket team
The Stonyhurst cricket team

Stonyhurst pupils are travelling to Rome this week for a once in a life time trip where they will play against a Papal team at cricket.

Eight boys, between 14 and 16 will be representing the school, along with old boys and staff against the Pope’s team known as St Peter’s XI.

While in Rome they will also be attending a reception hosted by Sally Axworthy, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, at one of the Italian capital’s historic palaces and attending a special mass with Pope Francis.

“This really is a dream trip for the boys and also helps us strengthen the already strong links we have with Rome,” said Stonyhurst College headmaster Mr John Browne.

The Vatican team, made up of priests and seminarians, has developed a worldwide reputation not only for the standard of its cricket but also for the use of inter-faith matches to build bridges with other religions.

During their tour of the UK last year – which kicked off with a match against Stonyhurst at the school in Lancashire – the Vatican side played matches against teams from a London mosque, a Sikh gurdwara, a Hindu temple and a Jewish synagogue.

Later this year the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI will travel to Rome for a match.

Stonyhurst is an independent Catholic day and boarding school for children from three to 18 years set at the heart of Ribble Valley.