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CATHEDRAL NOTES

(June - August 2014)



Dear Friends

Pentecost Whitsunday is the birthday of the church; marking
the day when the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and were
transformed from a motley group of bewildered and fearful
followers of the Lord to confident evangelists who were prepared
to risk their lives (and indeed lose them) for the sake of the One they had known as a
friend and teacher and now knew as the risen Lord.

We live in an age which prizes self reliance and independence but as Christians we are
called to recognise and acknowledge our need for God and to value inter-dependence
we being many are one body for we all we share in the one bread.

On Pentecost we shall be welcoming visitors from Winchester Cathedral (our link
Cathedral) and offering hospitality at a shared lunch after the Eucharist. That will be a
very visible expression of our interdependence both with the wider church and with
each other. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes this a reality drawing us close to
God, empowering us in His service and drawing us close to each other strengthening us
through our shared identity as the Body of Christ in the world.

The feast of Pentecost is thus a good moment not just to celebrate our Christian
vocation and renew our commitment to service but also to reflect on the values and
aspirations that guide our thinking as a community here at St Nicholas. Over the past
few months we have been reviewing our mission statement and asking ourselves what
our guiding principles should be.



The process began with a Chapter away day in September last year which led us to
consider revising our core vision statement (A Place of Discovery, Celebration and
Challenge) which has been in place for almost a decade and various consultations
ensued: with the Cathedral staff, with the congregation (at our last Bring and Share
lunch) and most recently with the College of Canons.

Some common themes have emerged from this process, among them a recognition of
the requirement to change, an affirmation of the importance of welcome and the need
to be inclusive, a desire that our worship should be rich and engaging and a concern to
be outward looking. The word joy featured prominently in all our discussions.

A possible new headline statement
Three words emerged early in the process and have been in some cases reaffirmed, in
others challenged, in the consultations we have undertaken. They were generosity
(generous), joy (joyful) and transformation(ing). The clear aspiration to be warm in our
welcome and inclusive in our outreach is perhaps reflected in the word generosity
which itself reflects one of the key words of the dioceses mission statement (Generous,
Engaged, Open). The word joy or joyful has emerged time and again in every
discussion we have had. The desire for change or renewal has been articulated in many
different words. We began with transformation but others have challenged that
suggesting life changing and one critic suggesting that the whole idea might sound
too directive and top down.

It is important that such words can be widely owned and also they should be well
grounded theologically. Canon Steven has been developing some theological
reflections on these concepts on behalf of Chapter but we would value everyones
thoughts on and reactions to the words themselves. We have felt that these ideas
should be expressed as aspirations rather than givens for we know we are very long
way from perfection!

In the light of all this we suggested the following statement:

Seeking to follow a Generous, Joyful and Transforming God.

Comments on that have led to a number of alternative versions such as the somewhat
less tentative:

Following a God who is Generous, Joyful and Life Changing
(which also puts God at the centre of the statement) or, in response to someone who
suggested we had overlooked a key element of Gods nature:



Following a Loving God who is Generous, Joyful and Life Changing.

We might continue to play with these words and see how they make engage us in
thinking carefully about our mission. At one level the exercise might seem a superficial
one (one thinks of some fairly trite strap lines devised, often at great expense by
companies seeking to promote their products and project their company image) and
yet the exercise does challenge us to reflect on what kind of community we really are or
would like to be, what sort of God we believe in and how what we say about ourselves
might impact on the communities and individuals we are called to serve.

From vision to strategy
If these do indeed become the values we wish to live and work by, then they must be
explored within the realities of our daily life and mission. How, for example, is our
worship to be joyful, in what ways can our welcome be generous, what will lead our
educational programmes to be transforming or life changing? We believe that there
are four key areas through which our mission is expressed. These are:

Prayer and Worship
Education and learning
Welcome and hospitality
Mission and evangelism

It is possible to view these themes as part of a cycle of engagement with the life of the
Cathedral as follows:


In the next month or so we shall try and tie down some words and phrases that as many
as possible of us can support; more importantly we shall begin to spell out in more
detail the actions that will (God willing) help to make those a aspirations a reality.
When we have a draft of a new Mission Plan we shall invite as many as possible from
our community to work with us in ensuring it really is owned by as many of us as
possible. In that process we shall need to wait upon the Holy Spirit and pray for the
Spirit to shape our thinking not according to our own preferences and prejudices but
Welcome
Worship Learning
Mission


according to the values of Christs Kingdom as Paul puts it in Philippians: Let the same
mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5). Or in the words of a prayer
by James Atwell Dean of Winchester:
O Holy Spirit, wind of God, gift of the Father, flame of love, create in our hearts a place
where Christ may dwell. Alleluia! Amen.
Christopher Dalliston


Farewell to Bishop Martin
After seventeen years as our Bishop, Bishop Martin has
announced his retirement from the autumn. Over the years we
have had the special privilege of his teaching ministry here at the
Cathedral not least at the great festivals of Christmas and Easter.
His preaching has a special quality of wisdom which grows out of
a deep spirituality of loving service in the Church and in society
and he has never ceased to remind us of the special vocation of
the Church of England to serve the not just our members but
the whole community. There will be a special service of farewell
at the Cathedral on Sunday 21st September at 4pm. Meanwhile please pray for him
and for Marlene as they prepare for retirement, and for the diocese and the national
church as together we begin the (lengthy) process of finding a successor.

Sunday School in the City Centre

We were a Sunday School that was an extension of weekday school life. The children
who were scholars at St Nicholas School, Hanover Square, attended St Nicholas
Sunday School. We went along, all dressed up in our Sunday best together
grandchildren of parishioners whenever they visited their grandparents.

Reverend Peter Karney who was a curate at the Cathedral was one of our leaders. The
teachers that I can recall were Mrs. Foster, Mr. Baker, Misses Amy Gent, Olive Gibbons
and Eleanor Taylor along with helpers Jenny Spence and Dolly Rankin, the latter being
an aunt of Hank Marvin, guitarist of The Shadows fame.

We heard the teachings of Jesus. I remember when we were very young, poster
pictures of Bible stories, also drawing pictures of sheet and angels using chalk on black
sugar paper. When we were older we would paint pictures and make models. We were
taught our prayers and hymns. Hills of the North Rejoice was a great favourite of
mine.



On Mothering Sunday we were always given primroses to give to our mothers.
Primroses were not a protected flower then.

We always went to Whitley Bay by electric train for summer outings, getting out at
Monkseaton Station and walking in an orderly procession to Whitley Bay beach. We
would play games, build sandcastles and in general have lots of fun. Then we would be
off to the Empress Caf for tea after which we went home tired and happy. If it rained I
dont remember.

At Harvest Festival we always had a splendid show. What impressed me was seeing
sheaves of corn. As a child of the city I thought it very grant and cheerful. After the
service the young people distributed the flowers, fruit and vegetables to the elderly and
sick of the parish.

Christmas was a magic time. We sham carols, made cards, had tea parties and received
presents from under the tree.

I feel I must mention the ewer that is used to carry the water to the font whenever
there is a baptism in the Cathedral. It is inscribed as follows:

The gift of St Nicholas Sunday School and their parents.

Of those of us that are left, on the occasions that we have seen each other, we recall
the happy times that we spent at St Nicholas Sunday School. We have every reason to
be grateful to the teachers, who we believe not only taught us well, but also generously
gave us children their time and attention. We remember them with affection.

Betty Archibald.
Cathedral Flower Fellowship

24th June: Summer outing to Bedes World Jarrow.

29th July: Practical Members own table decorations

26th August: Holiday


Dates for your diary
Some forthcoming events; look out for further details



Mothers Union Open Meeting
This will be held on Saturday 12th July 2014 10.03am for 11.00am start in
the Cathedral Caf. Women, Men and Children are all welcome your
Mothers Union needs you!

The meeting will give thanks for and build on all that has been established through
devotion, dedication and hard work. What is God saying to you about the Mothers
Union for today and tomorrow!

If you want a chat or to know more before 12th July please speak with Yvonne Hall any
Sunday morning or e-mail her on yonh1@hotmail.co.uk


Extraordinary Art Exhibition : Friday 15th to Sunday 17th August
The exhibition will take place in the Cathedral. Each exhibitor is being asked to donate
a piece of art to be auctioned during the exhibition.

Commemoration of the start of World War I : Saturday 20th September
There will be a special service in the Cathedral, and a week-long exhibition prepared by
students from local schools to commemorate the Centenary of the Outbreak of WW1.
Service at 2.00pm on 20th September.

Flower Festival : Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th October
The theme of the festival will be A Celebration of Music. The floral displays will tell the
story of music from pre-historic times to Rock n Roll. There will be concerts on the
Friday evening (by the Durham Singers and the Durham Singers Ensemble) and the
Saturday evening (by the Cobweb Orchestra, a regional community orchestra), and
music in the nave by students from local schools throughout the Friday and the
Saturday. There will be an Orchestral Mass on the Sunday morning, at which our guest
preacher will be Fr Peter Allan of the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield.

Newcastle Cathedral Choirs Association


I am delighted that the Choirs Association is funding a new lease of life. I am very grateful
for the hard work and enthusiasm of the newly formed committee. Michael, Stoddart,
Chair of the NCCA.

The Newcastle Cathedral Choirs Association (NCCA) purpose is to safeguard and
promote the musical heritage of our Cathedral. We aim to do this by raising the public
profile of the choirs, aiding the development of the choirs as a cohesive social group,
raising funds to support the choirs activities and encouraging the integration of the
choirs and their activities within the whole Cathedral community.

Choristers, parents of Choristers, Lay Clerks and Choral Scholars have automatic
membership, but anyone from the wider community who shares in the aims of the
Association is very welcome to join. We hold regular meetings for all members
throughout the year for the discussion and exchange of information.

To achieve our objectives we rely on family, friends, the community, the congregation
and others connected to the choirs of St Nicholas Cathedral. Whether you dedicate
time, money or ideas, we will always be grateful for any support you can give us.

Have you thought about joining the Choirs Association?
NCCA is dedicated to supporting music in the Cathedral and beyond, thus helping to
ensure that its tradition is maintained and developed for the future. By joining the
NCCA, you are making a valuable contribution to this important work.

In recent years the NCCA has assisted in a number of different ways:

By providing funds to support choir tours to Parish and Winchester, for the
purchase of new vestments and in the production of the acclaimed Girls
Choir CD.

By providing time and effort to support recruitment and social activities.



To join, either download the membership form from the Cathedral website
(www.stnicholascathedral.co.uk/choirs-association.aspx) or request a hard copy from
Hannah Davidson (music@stnicholascathedral.co.uk) or 0191 232 1939).

NCCA Events coming up


We organise a number of social and fundraising events across the year. A date for your
diary:

CA Concert Sunday 15th June 2014, 3.30pm.

Come and hear our choir members perform music that you wouldnt normally find in a
service!

Fundraising
Our first big social event of this year was a Ceilidh held on 1st March. Over 100 people
came along to support us and danced their socks off across the evening. It was a
hugely enjoyable event and, whats more, we raised 640 in the evening which will go
towards supporting our Choirs. Thank you to all who came along that night and
provided raffle prizes and cake. And particular thanks to Gillian Stewart and Friends
(our band) and Peter Cass (our caller) who gave their services for free.

We have also just launched our bespoke choir hooded tops, in a range of colours,
sporting the Cathedral logo on the front and Friend of Newcastle Cathedral Choirs on
the back, with the option to have your name included too. Retailing at 24 for adult
sizes and 18 for junior sizes, orders can be placed by contacting Hannah Davidson on
(0191) 232 1939 or via music@stnicholascathedral.co.uk

We are very fortunate that Sunlight Dry Cleaners (a
well-known laundry and dry-cleaning service
throughout the NE) responded to our request for
help in laundering our Choristers robes, so our
vestments now look their best at all times.

Music is at the heart of all the Cathedral does and, with your help, we can make sure it
stays there.

Marion Peutherer
Vice Chair, Cathedral Choirs Association.


RESULTS OF ELECTIONS

At the Meeting for the Election of Churchwardens and the Annual Parochial Church
Meeting, held on 27th April 2014



Elected as Churchwardens: T. Wigglesworth, E. Jubb, G. Graham, S. Hood

Elected as Deputy Churchwardens: V. BilotKach, P. Udeze

Elected as the representatives to the Community Forum: R. Lunn, R. Watson

Elected as the representatives to the Deanery Synod: K. Govier, E. Jubb, G. Graham

Elected as the representatives to the City Centre Churches Together: K. Govier






Chair of the meetings


Here are some modern insights on an age-old psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd thats relationship
I shall not want thats supply,
He makes me lie down in green pastures thats rest.
He leads me beside the still waters thats refreshment.
He restores my soul thats healing.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness thats guidance.
For his names sake thats protection.
Yea thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death thats testing
I will fear no evil thats protection.
For you are with me thats faithfulness.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me thats discipline.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies thats hope
You anoint my head with oil thats consecration.
My cup runs over thats abundance.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life thats blessing.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever thats security!


A letter from Uncle to Nephew
My Dear Nephew Darren,

I am not in the least surprised you have got yourself into trouble; innovation is never to
be encouraged. New ideas tend to cause revolutions. The move from incandescent


light-bulbs to energy saving ones may ultimately change the Church of England.

Change is something everyone claims to be in favour of provided it has no
measurable effect on their own lives. I remember as a young curate once suggesting
that at the Harvest Supper, tables might be enlarged so that eight people could sit
together rather than the traditional six, thus helping more people to get to know one
another. The response would have been similar if I had suggested we travel to London
to murder the Prime Minister. I was firmly told that tables for six had been perfectly
adequate for parishioners in Queen Victorias day. For the rest of my curacy, I was
regarded as a revolutionary, to be watched carefully.

So at your last visit to our Church, to suggest that our 11.00am Mattins may be moved
to 10.30am, in order to encourage those who wanted to have more of the day free to
themselves, certainly lobbed a hand grenade among the post-Service coffee cups. The
only person who was mildly in favour was Colonel Wainwright, who quickly realized
that it would give him an extra half-hour at the gin and tonics before lunch.

Should you ever feel that people lack imagination, you should watch them in action
when they find reasons for resisting an unwelcome suggestion. One said that the time
couldnt be moved, since it would then be too early for the local bus omitting to
mention that none of our congregation travel to church by bus and that the service
doesnt run on Sundays anyway. Another pointed out that it would confuse those who
didnt attend church not explaining why if they never attended, it mattered what time
the Service was. A third, rather touchingly mentioned that it wouldnt give the Rector
time to enjoy his breakfast after the rigors of the 8.00am service.

You suggestion, did, however, serve one useful purpose; it brought our congregation
together in united opposition. They may not necessarily always know what they are
for, but they certainly know what they are against. For
that, I thank you.

Your loving uncle,
Eustace.



Woodbine Willie Bringing Love with Cigarettes and
the Bible
Heres a saint that the Church of England remembers
from the First World War the Reverend Geoffrey


Studdert Kennedy, MC, or Woodbine Willie, as everyone knew this popular, much
loved army Chaplain on the Western Front.

Studdert Kennedy (27th June 1883 8th March 1929) had been born in Leeds as the
seventh of nine children. After reading divinity and classics at Trinity College Dublin,
hed studied for ordination at Ripon Clergy College, and served his curacy at Rugby. By
the time war broke out in 1914, Studdert Kennedy was Vicar of St Pauls Worcester. He
soon volunteered to go to the Western Front as a Chaplain in the army. Life on the
front line in the trenches was a desperate affair, but soon Studdert Kennedy had hit on
a way of bringing a few moments of relief to the stressed out soldiers: as well as good
cheer he gave out copious amounts of Woodbines, the most popular cheap cigarette of
its time.

One colleague remembered Kennedy: Hed come down into the trenches and say
prayers with the men, have a cuppa out of a dirty tin mug and tell a joke as good as any
of us. He was a chain smoker and always carried a packet of Woodbine cigarettes that
he would give out in handfuls to us lads. Thats how he got his nickname. He came
down the trench one day to cheer us up. Had his Bible with him as usual Well, Id been
there for weeks, unable to write home, of course, we were going over the top later that
day. I asked him if he would write to my sweetheart at home, tell her I was still alive
and, so far, in one piece years later, after the war, she showed me the letter hed sent,
very nice it was. A lovely letter. My wife kept it until she died.

Kennedy was devoted to his men, so much so that in 1917 he was awarded the Military
Cross at Messines Ridge, after running into no mans land in order to help the wounded
during an attack on the German frontline.

During the war, Kennedy supported the British military effort with enthusiasm, but
soon after the war, he turned to Christian socialism and pacifism. He was given charge
of St Edmunds in Lonbard St, London and took to writing a number of poems about his
war experiences: Rough Thymes of a Padre (1918) and More Rough Rhymes (1919). He
went on to work for the Industrial Christian Fellowship, for whom he did speaking
tours. It was on one of these tours that he was taken ill, and died in Liverpool in 1929.
He was only 46. His compassion and generosity in the face of the horrors of the
Western Front was immortalized on the song Absent Friends: Woodbine Willie
wouldnt rest until hed/given every bloke a final smoke/before the killing. He himself
had once described his chaplains ministry as taking a box of fags in your haversack,
and a great deal of love in your heart.



The Great War: The Trenches
The trenches are the defining visual
image of the Great War. Both sides
created them when it became obvious
that for all the pushes and counter-
attacks not much was happening
geographically. A hilly ridge would be
taken, at enormous human cost. A
month later it would be recaptured.
The trenches stretched for hundreds of
miles across northern France, once the
earlier ones in southern Belgium were abandoned, and they became home to
hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

The trench was a narrow but deep ditch, designed to shield the men who were on
lookout duty from enemy fire. Behind the trenches were the living quarters dug out
of the earth, usually with roofs of corrugated iron, where there were bunks for sleeping
and rudimentary facilities for washing and eating. Hot food came from the Company
cookhouse behind the lines. Too much bully beef, my father complained corned
beef, to us. Very nice as an occasional choice, but a bit unexciting as a regular diet.
Surprisingly, perhaps, to those of us who only know of the War from films and books, in
between major outbreaks of fighting the trench provided an adequate if modest
degree of normality. Every day, my father told me, the newspaper seller would visit
with copies of the Daily Mail. No escaping from the football results and news from
home.

The trouble was that periodically the senior officers would decide that it was time for
another desperate attempt to dislodge the enemy. Bayonets would be fixed, ashen
faced young men would line up in the trenches awaiting the signal usually a blast on a
whistle which would summon them to climb the steps out into the open, there to
face, inevitable, the devastating fire of the German machine guns. It was some time
into the War before the Allies were equipped with these deadly weapons, and it was the
multiple, sustained rain of bullets that caused most of the casualties.

Above all this was the constant barrage of the big guns, firing from both sides but well
behind the lines. Their thunderous roar could be heard at times far away across the
Channel in Kent. Most of the shells simply exploded in the soft soil of Flanders or the
Somme they are still being ploughed up by farmers today, a century later. But some
were what became known as direct hits, and those could be devastating.



In the midst of all this the mud, the stench, the noise and the imminent possibility
of death were the soldiers themselves. Among them moved the medics, the nurses,
the chaplains agents of care and compassion in a world which seemed to have gone
mad. Some soldiers simply couldnt stand it. Shell-shocked was the diagnosis in
those days. The wonder is that anybody could.

For those Women who Drive
How about a bit of Poetry?

I have a little Satnav, it sits there in my car
A Satnav is a drivers friend; it tells you where you are.
I have a little Satnav, Ive had it all my life
It better than the normal ones, my Satnav is my wife.
It gives me full instructions, especially how to drive
Its thirty miles an hour, it says, youre doing thirty-five!
It tell me when to stop and start, and when to use the brake,
And tells me that its never ever, safe to overtake.

It tells me when a light is red, and when it goes to green
It seems to know instinctively just when to intervene,
It lists the vehicles just in front and all those to the rear
And taking this into account it specified my gear.
Im sure no other driver has so helpful a device
For when we leave and lock the car it still gives its advice.

It fills me up with counseling each journeys pretty fraught
So why dont I exchange it and get a quieter sort?
Ah well, you see, it cleans the house, makes sure Im properly fed,
It washes all my shirts and things, and keeps me warm in bed!
Despite all these advantages and my tendency to scoff,
I only wish that now and then I could turn it off.
Anon.




Meet the Team

Name: Dave Dawe

Job title: Finance Manager

When did you join the team?: February
2012

Tell us a little bit about your job:
Every month I have fun in paying our staff
and our choirs; every day suppliers keep
sending me invoices to pay for goods and
services, but I also get the chance to send
invoices to people who have used the
Cathedrals facilities.

Flowing from all that, like a true account,
I do Debits and Credits and lo and behold
I get to produce a statement of the
Cathedrals Income and Expenditure, then I get a shock as I compare that to the
budgets that I have produced in liaison with all our budget managers. The fun gets
even better when January dawns and its time to produce the statutory accounts and
satisfy our auditors.

What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love spreadsheets the bigger the better: they are the backbone to much of my work.

Tell us a random fact that isnt work related?
Although I do not know one end of a horse from another, I help run the annual
Lanchester Agricultural Show (always the first Sunday in July come along, bring the
family and have a good day).

Name: Neringa Baguckiene

Job title: Finance Assistant

When did you join the team?: July 2013



Tell us a little bit about your job: Cashiering and Banking, Accounts Payable and
Receivable, Processing Payroll.

What is your favourite thing about your job? I love a lot of things about my job. I like
that I am very busy, the people I work with. I like that my boss brings some chocolates
for me. When I hear people talk about their awful colleagues and nightmare bosses, I
say a little prayer of thanks.

Tell us a random fact that isnt work related: Did you know that the city of Venice
stands on about 120 small islands?

Reflections from Mirfield

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are
your ways my ways, declares the Lord Isaiah 55:8


Over recent months I have come to appreciate this text from the Prophecy of Isaiah in a
deeply personal way. It is only through living in community that this particular verse
and its prophetic implication has been discernible. I say this because it has occurred to
me that, as a relatively young Ordinand living the Mirfield experience, I have been
consistently asking a two-fold question of myself. That is; what does God really ask me
to be, and what does God ask of me in a community context?

On the one hand it has been so very tempting to fit the mould, so to speak. On the
other it has been vital that I venture beyond that safety net and take a trek through
some wild terrain. One of the ways in which this has been possible at theological
college is in living in such close quarters that mean no getting away from each other,
both at the best of times and during times of tension and hurt. The very nature of being
in community is that experience is shared in common, and that must also include
elements of tension. A close look at Christian history reveals that tension and conflict
have always been fundamental to the Churchs quest to reflect the love and purpose of
God in an integral and truthful way. The Jerusalem Council as attested in the Acts of
the Apostles, the early schisms, the Reformation and indeed current debates within the
Anglican Communion over headship and human sexuality serve to reflect that very
image of a Church in tension.

It is according to my own reflections only really possible to gain deeper insight into our
own selves and that of our community is we too are willing to challenge our
preconceptions ask; am I right in what I hold to be true? Do I listen enough to God and


to other people? Is the way that I have sought to live out the Christian truth reflective of
Gods will or my own sense of what really matters? To be Christian, is indeed to be able
to ask of God; What are Your ways? What are Your thoughts? More so, we are each
from time to time asked to say with confidence as did Christ; Not my will, but yours be
done. Luke 22:42.

It is fair to argue that community now means something very different to what it might
have meant say one hundred years ago. For one, we travel more and are more exposed
to different cultures and customs, which are aided by the rapid developments in
communication technology. This leads to the ever reshaping of community, society
and dare I say it- even Church congregation! And with such reshaping we are required
to engage with the other more and more, and this I feel is vital to the Gospel
imperative to love God and neighbour, if we
sincerely believe God to dwell in each person.

The Psalmist celebrates the notion of an intimate
relationship with the God who has made them; O
Lord, you have searched me and known me
(Psalm 139). The late Harry Williams CR in The
True Wilderness wrote of the great need to be at
one with the person that God has created us so
lovingly to be. This of course also means that we
must be able to recognise all that is flawed, hurt
and fragile. I have mentioned already that there is
no getting away from one another in a
community, and it is true that this means being
exposed in all of our weakness and fear. Such
exposure then leaves us open to uphold and affirm
one another, whilst being equally willing to be held and to be cared for. This is not an
easy barrier to overcome.

We turn on the television and we are bombarded with advertisements claiming to have
the solution to gaining that perfect body. In other words, we are not good enough as
we are, and we must at all cost modify until we have the pearly white teeth, the perfect
10 or the latest mobile phone. Imperfection must be ironed out- completely or
altogether ignored. Our striving for total self perfection can almost be Babel-like and
leave no room for real growth in God, and when we do realise that God has not been
attended to or heard we feel confounded, exhausted and alone.



This, I believe is in part why the Eucharist is pivotal to the Christian community, for
together we gather at the altar and surrender all that we are in the name of Christ. It is
not through our own desire that the creatures of bread and wine become for us that
most precious Body and Blood of Christ, but through the mysterious and divine
outworking of the Holy Spirit.

I do wish to state at this point that, in no way am I saying that that we are totally inept
and incapable of acting as agents for Gods good work in the World. What I do reiterate
though, is that we must be true to ourselves and committed to living out the true-self
in amidst the complexities of a shared life with one another.

Forgive me as I indulge in some more Holy
Week talk. I wrote about Holy Week last year
in a similar reflection which was published on
the Cathedrals website. This year Bishop
Gordon Murcell gave our Holy Week talks
and he emphasised the importance that
must be placed on the in-dwelling of the
Christian community. The Holy Week
liturgies at Mirfield certainly demanded this
of our College community.

The Palm Sunday procession marks the way
in which we walk together and ponder Jesus
glorious entry into Jerusalem. Yet, we know
that this glory is not without pain, for the
Cross is inevitable. Never the less, both glory
and anguish are held in common by the
community who sojourn together as pilgrims
with Christ. Maundy Thursday and the liturgy of the Washing of Feet reflect our need to
be servant to each other, but also to accept that like St Peter, unless we allow for
ourselves to washed by He who came to serve, then we have no dwelling with Him.
Anyone who has ever had their feet washed during this liturgy may well know that
sense of embarrassment and awkwardness. Because we depend so much on pride we
struggle so intrinsically with being served so publically. Any clergy reading this might
know only too well what fun it can be to encourage someone to offer their feet for the
evening!

We can only serve fully if we can be willing to give fully of ourselves, and the Good
Friday preaching and veneration of the Cross demand of us all that we are. Here at


Mirfield, the tradition is to hear the preaching at noon, then to remain for the Good
Friday liturgy. The very length of time that we share together in the starkness of the
stripped chapel force us to accept all that remains for us to observe- the Wood of the
Cross on which hung the salvation of the world. As we approach the cross, we are
invited by God to lay all that pains us, all that makes us guilty and indeed- our hopes
and loves at the feet of Jesus Christ.

I would also like to argue the case for Holy Saturday and church cleaning at this point.
Many parish churchs, including the Cathedral have a gathering on this day to attend to
cleaning and restoring the sanctuary. I reflected this year that this shared activity in
some ways reflects the gradual re-ordering action of God. That is to say, that the
process is not immediate and takes time, attention and commitment. Our healing and
growth as Gods children is a timeless act, and we are free to be true to God in who we
are. We are called by name as Baptised children of God, to then go forth and celebrate
the light of the world on Easter Sunday.

At the Cathedral some people were of course Baptised and Confirmed. That
inextricable link between the resurrection of Christ and our Baptismal vocation is where
I seek to conclude my reflections on this occasion. To live in the light of the risen Christ
means for us to be renewed. I am left wondering if my own sense of renewal this now
depends on my understanding that God loves the very person that He made us to be,
not who we necessarily desire to become. So too must we love God for who God is, not
who we believe God should be.

Amen.
Anthony OGrady





Please Note:

The September edition of Cathedral Notes will not be available until
Sunday 14th September 2014






Years Mind
June August
2 Kieron Richardson 1 Hugh Clelland
Steven Robson (Pr) 3 Elizabeth Watt
5 Leslie Gane 5 Mary Chalmers
8 Anthony Hunter (Bp) 6 Rosanna Donaldson
Eric Pocklington (Pr) 12 Arthur Bardgett
10 Barry Canham 19 Kenneth Malcolmson
11 Mary Walton Rognvald Strange
13 Roy Stewart 23 Paul Chapman
15 Arthur Davies 25 Alan Porteus (Pr)
17 David Collinson 26 Elizabeth Burn
22 John Little (Pr) 28 Barbara Knaggs
29 Dorothy Chapman 29 Malcolm Truman (Pr)
30 Cyril Hind


July
8 Jane Highnam
9 Ethel Forbes
19 Timoleon Masarachi
23 Reginald Cornwell (Pr)
William Mark
Millie Cahill
Jim Gledhill (Pr)
29 Lydia Chipchase
30 Olive Greenhalgh