Tuesday 28th November, 2017
The Cathedral held its Annual General Meeting on Sunday 26th November 2017. It received reports from committees and groups across the Cathedral, the annual accounts were presented, and the Provost gave his annual report. Gill Stewart was elected as Lay Representative of the Cathedral, and Andrew Reddish as Alternate Lay Representative. Both will serve as trustees on the Cathedral Board.
Copies of the reports and accounts are available here: Provost’s Annual Report 2017
Cathedral AGM Reports 2017
Cathedral Treasurer’s Report and Summarised Accounts 2017
Thursday 23rd November, 2017
From the Provost
In Christ your Son our life and yours
are brought together in a wonderful exchange.
He made his home among us
that we might for ever dwell in you.
The season of Advent, which starts our church’s year on December 3rd this year marks the return of familiar hymns, themes, the approach of Christmas with all that that evokes. And the familiar is often comforting and welcome. On the other hand, Advent is also a time when we give voice to our longings, our sense that things are not right, that in our fractious world and broken hearts, we need the love of God to come and dwell among us once again. And so Advent also disturbs us, shake us up a little, and so prepares us for what we might otherwise miss in the coming of Christ at Christmas. Advent is about both the comforting familiar and the disturbing, surprising Word. Advent pulls us in two directions at once.
At the heart of our Advent longings, and our humanity, is the desire to connect, to be in relationship with both God and our neighbours. In amongst the strain and stress of Christmas preparation it is easy to lose sight of the fact that at the heart of Christmas is a celebration of that connection: as our Eucharistic prayer reminds, God coming to us, that we might come to God. Our gift giving at Christmas is an imitation and reflection of that wonderful exchange which is at the heart of the incarnation: the grace and love of God met in this human baby, and man; just as our own presents express the generous love of which we are capable, and our affirmation of what others mean to us. Our Advent longing for connection is met by that gift of Christ at Christmas that both affirms and redeems our humanity, affirms our longing and deepens our response to live out more fully that world where our connection one with another is recognised and honoured.
Advent and Christmas are busy times at the Cathedral, and it is wonderful to welcome so many through our doors. The challenge is to ensure that our prayer and worship helps draw them and us in to that wonderful exchange of love which is at the heart of the good news of Christmas. I hope that you too find time to encounter the God who makes his home among us, that we might dwell in him.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas,
Monday 6th November, 2017
From the Provost:
November is a month that is full of the action of remembering. We begin the month with our celebrations of All Saints and All Souls, and we then take our part in remembering all those killed in the wars of our last century on Remembrance Sunday. The month will end with a very different act of remembering as, at our Annual General Meeting after the service on November 26th, we look back at the previous year in our life together at this Cathedral.
Remembering is a central and vital element to our humanity: we are formed by our memories, by the stories we tell about ourselves, the world and society we inhabit, those who preceded and shaped us. Such remembering is not straightforward, however. Memories can make us simply nostalgic, longing for our golden years back then, rather than helping to shape us for the time ahead of us, the risky and unknown future.
Remembering is at the heart of the church: we are re-made through gathering around the stories of the people of Israel and of Jesus and his disciples, re-enacting in words and deeds a tradition to which we are heirs. Saints have from earliest days been a central part of that remembering: people who in their lives fleshed out the following of Christ to which all are called. All Saints is an opportunity once again, to be inspired and challenged by their example of simplicity of life, of prayer in the midst of ordinary living, of actions to relieve the suffering of others. On All Souls we remember those who have particularly helped to shape us, loved ones whose memory we treasure, and whose faith in us we often seek to repay. On Remembrance Sunday, our remembering of the dead deepens our longing for peace and our conviction that we must do all we are able to avoid the tragedy of war.
Above all, our remembering is central to our following of Christ. Our Eucharist is testament to the truth that without our common remembering, we would not recognise Christ in the world around us; without our re-membering, our bread and wine remain bread and wine. The act of remembering puts flesh on the bones of our memories and enables us to receive Christ’s body and blood given for the life of the world.
That receiving draws us into living out of Christ’s life, death and, above all, his resurrection – that act of God which breaks open the endless cycle of violence and recrimination, a cycle often dependent on the cherishing and holding of long memories, memories that can foster division and bitterness. The resurrection reveals a God who turns our memories around, whose forgiveness, received and offered to others, breaks the hold the past can have over us. The church holds and hands on the memory of Jesus, because, in this man, we find our true home and identity; in the light of his memory, our memories are judged, and through being judged, not condemned but healed. Memories can both trap us (in nostalgia, in the longing to be somewhere other than here and someone other than who we are), or they can free us (by giving us an identity, a sense of self and a place in a larger story). May our remembering this coming month help us all into that freedom.
With every blessing