Friday 22nd March, 2013
On Wednesday 13 March Philip Crosfield died, and his funeral was in the Cathedral on 22 March. His passing marks the end of an era. Philip (or The Revd Canon GPC Crosfield OBE) was Provost from 1970 – 1990 and Vice-Provost for two years before that.
My predecessor’s contribution to the life and witness of the Cathedral was simply immense. So many speak so movingly and appreciatively of his pastoral care. To me he was a shining example of being a visionary. Two aspects of his work bear witness to this. Philip could not see why the obvious advantages of a chorister’s education be restricted to choristers and not to a wider circle of young musicians: thus our Choir School was transformed into St Mary’s Music School, Scotland’s specialist music school, with instrumentalist pupils joining and the educational provision being extended to the age of 18. The fact that the Music School has gone from strength to strength (as instanced by glowing HMIE reports and excellent exam results) is indicative of the firm musical and educational foundations given to the School by Philip and his fellow founders. The other example of his vision and commitment to young people was the creation of St Mary’s stone masonry Workshop: “putting old skills into young hands” meant that in the then period of high youth unemployment the cohort of 6 apprentices did indeed acquire skills after their 4 year apprenticeship to enable them to move into secure employment.
Philip has always been a good friend to me: supportive, appreciative, generous. To Sue and their children and grandchildren we extend our love and prayers; and to God we commend a faithful pastor, priest and Provost. a man of vision, a man of music.
On 8 March in the Cathedral a different farewell took place as through words and music all gathered to celebrate Jennifer Rimer’s seventeen years as Head Teacher of St Mary’s Music School.
Finally March has also seen work start on our Medical Centre and landscaping. These works will last one year. It will bring to fruition one of Philip’s dreams by creating a purpose-built permanent home for our stone masons’ workshop. It will mean once more the Cathedral using its resources to help the community.
We witness the Easter Story of resurrection all around us.