July and August Update

Thursday 26th June, 2014


1.  Congratulations to Cathedral Chaplain Willie Shaw and Sarah on their marriage on Friday 27 June.  Everyone wishes them every happiness and blessing in their life together.

2.  Congratulations to Hester Martineau on being included in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours. Hester is a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to music in Scotland. A well-known and hugely respected member of our Sunday 8am brigade, Hester has given so much to music over so many years. It is wonderful that her contribution has been recognised in this way.

3.  We have sadly seen the funerals of three of the Cathedral’s senior members.

Peter Hollis was a lovely soul, who gave so much to so many of us in so many ways.  A great supporter of the Friends of St Mary’s Cathedral, a frequent participant in the Cathedral retreats, a reader on Sunday mornings, a member of the Faith and Growth Group, Peter will be greatly missed.  His contribution as a district officer in the Colonial Service in Africa, as a teacher and head master in Edinburgh, demonstrated his commitment to young people.  In all he did he was supported by his beloved Mo, who predeceased him.  Peter bore his illness with great courage and faith and was an inspiration to me.

Patricia Forbes died peacefully in Campbeltown: this faithful soul always sat at the front of the Nave on the lectern side.  Of independent and indomitable spirit, Patricia always saw her role as supporting her husband Donald, a distinguished head master, who served as a headmaster in both England and Scotland, and her ever-growing family.  Donald was one of the founding directors of St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop who alas never saw our new completed Workshop.  Patricia did and often commented on how delighted Donald would have been for the Workshop to have a new purpose built home.

The Edinburgh Festival in the Cathedral will simply not be the same without John Hanlin.  John stewarded almost every concert – anyone walking along Palmerston Place would be offered a flier for our latest concert.  A very familiar and much loved face in the Cathedral office, he helped collate Cathedral programmes and magazines and brought to that seemingly endless task humour and a selfless spirit of service.

All three were and are special. We thank God for all they gave us.

4.  Congratulations to the chorister parents for their successful fundraising dinner in the Song School towards the costs of the Stravinsky Project.

5.  The refurbishment of the Cathedral office is now complete and a huge improvement.  All in the office coped with the mess and the upheaval.  Carol Wood has decided to move on, and I gladly pay tribute to all she gave to the workings of the office in this her second spell as one of the Cathedral secretaries.

July sees the arrival of the Cathedral Campers who will assist the vergers as the Cathedral gets its annual spring clean in the summer.

August is of course the month of the Festival.  Our accompanying Festival leaflet lets you know all that is happening in and around the Cathedral: our music, our guided tours, our exhibitions, our services, as we honour him who was centre stage in the festival of life and yet pushed out onto the fringe, alongside 2 criminals also condemned to death.