Thursday 22nd January, 2015
February sees the formal opening of our purpose-built, 21st-century stone mason workshop by St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop’s Visitor, HRH The Princess Royal. We have travelled a long way since work on the site started over 2 years ago. The medical centre is up and running; Old Coates House has been refurbished; and our ambitious plans for the Walpole Hall through the week are progressing well, whilst giving us the use of the Hall over weekends. The ramp to the north door has been built, turf laid, and our north lawns open for business. The one final piece of work to be done is the top surface of the path on the north side of the Cathedral: this can only be completed in warmer climes!
One key person will not be there later this month. Workshop Chairman Ivor Guild CBE WS died suddenly after Christmas whilst in Berlin. Ivor was a great supporter of the Workshop, succeeding Sir David Young as Chairman, a distinguished churchman in the Cathedral, Diocese and Province, a lawyer of immense stature in Edinburgh and much further afield. I have known Ivor for almost 40 years and had the privilege of working with him for the last 25 years. He was a lovely soul and a good friend to me and to all who knew him.
Two other lovely faithful souls have died. Graham Ford and Ted Ruddock MBE each in their own ways brought light and joy to the Cathedral. To their respective families we extend our sympathy, and their passing, along with that of Ivor, makes me feel the poorer this day.
Congratulations to alto lay clerk Michael Wood. In addition to being an excellent singer Michael has been awarded his PhD for his study on the work of German playwright Heiner Müller. Well done, Herr Doktor!
February also sees the welcome return of Bishop Richard Holloway. He will be our guest preacher when our choir is joined by that of Durham Cathedral in a festival of music and fun.