Clifton Cathedral parishioner Paul Williams has just returned from speaking at the Vatican, where he also met the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Paul is Emeritus Professor of Indian and Tibetan Philosophy at the University of Bristol. He was invited to the Vatican by H.E. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization in order to address an International Meeting for Academic Centres, Movements and Associations for the New Evangelization. The theme of the meeting was Knowing God: Is it possible? Ways for a New Evangelization. Paul, who is a professed lay member of the Dominican Order and chairs the diocesan Clifton Refugee Sponsorship Scheme ( was asked to speak about his own personal spiritual journey and conversion to the Catholic Church after over 20 years as a committed and active Buddhist.