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Pope visit to UK cost taxpayers £6.9m
("BBC," February 16, 2011)

London, UK - The Pope's four-day UK visit in 2010 cost taxpayers £6.9m, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The government paid a further £6.3m - to be reimbursed by the Catholic Church - and the Church paid another £3.8m directly.

The figures do not include policing costs. The Scottish government funded part of the trip north of the border.

Foreign office minister Henry Bellingham said the visit was "historic".

Pope Benedict XVI spent four days in the UK last September, with engagements in Glasgow, London and Birmingham.

It was the first-ever state visit by a Pope to the UK, and "an important milestone in the relationship between the UK and the Holy See", Mr Bellingham said.

"It was on a far bigger scale than a normal State visit: police estimates suggest that 500,000 people saw the Pope either during events or along the Pope mobile routes.

"Approximately 3,000 media representatives were accredited to cover the visit.

"The combination of official events, pastoral events, through which the Pope engaged with Britain's Roman Catholics, and meetings with the Church of England and with people of other faiths, made this a visit that was out of the ordinary in every way," he said.

Costs included £3m for facilities for the media, £1.7m for a beatification Mass in Birmingham and £483,821 for a service at St Mary's University College in Twickenham.


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