Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, is to receive an honorary doctoral degree from Birmingham City University today (Monday).

The award was being conferred in recognition of Archbishop Nichols’ distinguished service within the Roman Catholic Church and in particular, his recent service to local people as Archbishop of Birmingham.

The cleric was born in Crosby, Merseyside and, although his early childhood ambition was to be a lorry driver, he travelled a very different path that culminated in his appointment to Archbishop of Westminster, the top Roman Catholic post in the UK in April 2009.

Prior to his promotion, he served as the eighth Archbishop of Birmingham for several years, achieving an excellent reputation and winning the the respect of both priests and congregations.

He acted as Chairman of the Governing Body of Newman University College in the City and offered a special Christmas Day ministry at HMP Birmingham to ‘draw attention to a people who are easily forgotten’.

His award is was being conferred at the Awards Congregation ceremony in Symphony Hall which was celebrating the work and achievements of students graduating from the Faculty of Education, Law and Social Sciences.