London, May 2016. Cabinet Minister and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, MP, represented the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon David Cameron, MP, at a Banquet in honour of His Excellency Mr János Áder, President of the Republic of Hungary and the Grand Master of the Constantinian Order, His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro.
The Banquet hosted by the Constantinian Order’s Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland, Anthony Bailey, was held to mark the historic pilgrimage of the relics of Saint and Martyr Thomas à Becket travelling from Hungary to Britain between 23-29 May 2016, after being kept with great reverence in Esztergom, Hungary for over 800 years. The Banquet took place on 24 May 2016 at Drapers’ Hall in the City of London in the presence of over 300 distinguished guests from across the world.
During the Banquet, The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, MP, read a message sent by the Prime Minister, paying tribute to the Constantinian Order and its Delegate for their remarkable charitable and inter-faith work.
“I would like to extend my warmest wishes to the many distinguished state, religious and diplomatic guests gathered here tonight. This banquet marks the historic return after 800 years of the relics of Saint and Martyr Thomas à Becket to Britain.
“This pilgrimage held under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency Mr János Áder, President of the Republic of Hungary, brings together the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church in both countries in a moving spiritual partnership. This pilgrimage will allow believers and non believers alike an opportunity to discover and honour Thomas a Becket, whose ecumenical and universal values remain relevant today and provide inspiration for so many around the world.
“This historic event is also an opportunity to celebrate British-Hungarian ties, our rich traditions and culture, our common heritage and our shared belief in the values of liberty, democracy and religious freedom. Today, Hungary and Britain continue to work together for the common good and to shape our future, as we also reflect on our past.”
“I would like to thank Sir Anthony Bailey and the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George for hosting tonight’s event, and pay tribute to their long and worthy track record in promoting charitable and inter-faith work in both our countries. I wish you all a most enjoyable and successful evening. David Cameron”