November Update

Friday 26th October, 2012

Work on the north east corner of the Cathedral grounds as part of the medical centre development will begin in early January, and it is anticipated that this will last for 12 months.  The Walpole Hall will be out of action during this time, but the final results will be amazing.  Once work starts, the Cathedral car park will be unavailable.

George Scott has been a pillar of strength as the person in charge of the Cathedral stewards for many, many years.  With a congregation of 2 dozen or 200 or 2000, George quietly and beautifully has masterminded his teams of stewards to ensure that whatever the service everything works like clockwork.  So ably supported by Margaret, he makes a Provost’s life so much easier, because I always know that one of George’s teams will steward the service sensitively and lovingly.  The Cathedral owes George a huge debt of gratitude.  George’s successor is Iain Morrison who I know will continue the excellent work.

The delights of public transport from North Berwick on Sundays have made it increasingly difficult for Precentor Mark Harris to get to the Cathedral.  Mark will sing a farewell Evensong on Sunday 4 November at 3.30pm, but I do know he is most willing to help out whenever he can.  We wish him and Harriet and the children every happiness in their new home in East Lothian.

Work on the upper floor (north end) of Old Coates House is well under way and should be finished before Christmas.

November is also month for AGMs. The first AGM is that of The Friends of St Mary’s Cathedral and takes place on Remembrance Sunday at 2pm, followed by a devotional performance of Duruflé Requiem, and a Reception hosted by the Friends in the Resurrection Chapel immediately afterwards.  The Cathedral’s AGM follows our Eucharist on Sun 25th November when Cathedral Council reports will be submitted, the year’s audited accounts presented, and I will give an overview of the last 12 months.  All of us are well aware of the current economic climate with its combination of very low interest rates, poor dividends, increasing costs and with not too many signs of recovery over the horizon: against that kind of backdrop 2012’s overall increase in Cathedral income and giving represents a substantial achievement.  In 2012 the Cathedral has also benefited from some most generous legacies.

Finally it is a great joy to have Vice-Provost John McLuckie and Chaplain Willie Shaw as members of the Clergy team and beginning to make their own distinctive contributions to our life and witness.