As a newly arrived dean I am asking myself a question that you may ask on occasion; what is a cathedral for? There are many answers to such a question, but let me offer a few…
The Cathedral is a place where, often around the Bishops, people from the diocese can gather in unity. Ordinations are an obvious example, marvellous moments when new clergy are ordained to go out into the diocese to serve churches and communities.
The Cathedral is also a place where lots of people, many of them unchurched, venture along to express a quiet, inchoate faith. At Christmas we saw many such people wonderfully welcomed into praise and worship.
The Cathedral can also be a place where key events in our church or culture can be marked. An example of this might be the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, being marked this year. Martin Luther is one of the giants of the Christian tradition – and I have a picture of him in my study. So, on Sunday 5 March at 3pm, Dr David Hoyle, the Dean of Bristol, will speak at Evensong and afterwards too to spell out the nature of Luther’s work and achievement. I do hope that you and people from your communities can come along. It is a moment to mark.
The Cathedral is also a hub of prayer. Do please know that we use this prayer calendar daily. And now as we do so we are inviting you along – tea, tours, Evensong. If you can come, you will be truly welcome. Look out for the invitations to your Cathedral!
The Very Reverend Dr John Davies
Dean of Wells