Wednesday 2nd May, 2018
From the Provost
The season of Easter is a good time to contemplate new life and fresh beginnings. It was a good time, therefore, to be part of a group of people from across the life of the Cathedral who spent a Saturday morning last weekend beginning to articulate a vision for our Cathedral. The results of that consultation will be shared more widely shortly, as well as a strategy for how we might develop and give flesh to that vision in practise. The group needs a little more time to articulate succinctly the life and potential within the Cathedral, but it is hoped that the fruits of that exploration and shared conversation will be available soon. The energy and excitement within the group was evident, however, and whilst the Cathedral is faced with a number of challenges (in the resources, both financial and personnel available to us), it is also the case that there are huge possibilities in developing the Cathedral’s ministry of welcome and prayer, its commitment to excellence in music and liturgy, and its desire to build community within its congregation, with our neighbours and across the Diocese. I look forward to sharing with you that vision, and some of the concrete goals that flow from it, over the coming months.
One visible sign of our commitment to building up the life of our Diocese will be seen just as this magazine is printed and distributed, as churches from across the Diocese descend on the Cathedral for the Diocesan Big Day on April 28th. To accommodate stalls from every church, as well as workshops and other exhibitors, is a demanding task. Our vergers, in particular, have done an amazing job in re-ordering the Cathedral to accommodate what will be an exciting and uplifting occasion I’m sure. Look out for pictures in future weekly notices or this magazine to see the Cathedral in a whole new way!
Central to the life of our Cathedral is our choir and music. With this edition of Magnificat, you will receive a separate leaflet outlining our Organ Appeal. This is to help raise the remaining funds for the major overhaul of the organ planned to begin in September this year. As the leaflet explains, this overhaul will give fresh life to our wonderful ‘Father’ Willis organ, but raising the remaining funds is a challenge. Please consider the contents of the leaflet and if you are able to help, perhaps by sponsoring an organ stop as suggested, or by putting us in touch with local trusts or companies, that would be hugely appreciated. We are enormously grateful to the Friends of the Cathedral for their generous donation that has given us such a good start to raising the money needed. To be without our organ for the best part of a year (although alternative arrangements are being put in place), will be an interesting experience. I thank you, in advance, for your generosity that will help ensure that our ‘Father’ Willis organ returns in August 2019 sounding better than ever.
I would like to extend the Cathedral’s congratulations to our Master of the Music, Duncan Ferguson, on the announcement of his engagement to Alexa Jacobs. They will be married in Melrose in May 2019, but will be at the Cathedral shortly afterwards for a further blessing of their marriage, and an opportunity for us all to celebrate that wonderful occasion with them.
It was with sadness that we said farewell to our latest Chaplain, Kenneth Fleming, on April 15th, as he left to take up a post in the Church of Scotland. His wisdom and compassionate presence will be missed by many, I know. He was touched by the generosity of the congregation in the leaving present given to him, and by your prayers for his future ministry.
Eastertide is always a wonderful time to appreciate the ministry of the flower-arrangers at the Cathedral, as our Easter joy finds expression, after the sparseness of Lent, in a profusion of white, gold and yellow flowers that decorate our worship. After many years of service, Sheila Lister and Barbara Wright, have indicated that they need to step back from organising the flowers in the Cathedral. I would like to express our profound thanks for the many years that they have undertaken that task, and for the joy that they have brought. From this summer onwards, we will need to find a new way of organising the flowers in the Cathedral. It is proposed that the office will draw up a rota of people willing to be involved in flower arranging. We are also hoping to negotiate an understanding with a local florist, so that they can provide appropriate flowers at a manageable price. (The current arrangement whereby flowers are obtained from the flower market is no longer sustainable). If you would be willing to be on a rota for flower arranging from time to time please let the office know. If you fancy having a go but are unsure how to go about flower arranging, particularly within the Cathedral, then I’m sure we can arrange for some training to be given, or pair you up with a more experienced partner.
With every blessing