By James Bryce
The Pope’s stay in Wimbledon over the weekend was deemed a success by authorities.
The leader of the Catholic Church used the Apostolic Nunciature in Parkside as his residence throughout the state visit.
Whilst the Pope’s public engagements experienced significant numbers of protesters, there was no sign of any in Wimbledon.
Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, of the National Papal Co-ordination Centre, said: “The visit was a huge success for the police service and all involved.”
Flag-bearing well wishers greeted the Pope’s entourage as it arrived at the Vatican’s embassy from Heathrow Airport on Thursday around 10.30pm.
The six vehicle convoy, escorted by police outriders and a helicopter buzzing overhead, included the Pope’s silver Range Rover and an ambulance.
Crowd control officers were on hand along with several armed officers as the Pope made a brief appearance at the embassy’s window to wave to the crowd.
It was business as usual prior to the Pope’s arrival, with Parkside remaining open until just moments before, and reopening immediately after.
Nearby Alfreton Close was the only road to be cordoned off, with residents requiring a pass to gain access.
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