Staying Connected To The Cathedral

20 March 2020

Dear friends

This Sunday is Mothering Sunday – it will also be the first Sunday in many years, even centuries, without public worship in the cathedral. But we are still a worshiping community and a people of prayer, and there are two opportunities to join in.

On Sunday morning at 10am we shall broadcast the Eucharist live from the Lady Chapel on our Facebook page, which will then be posted on our website. The Dean will preside and preach a short sermon, and there will be some music too. This will be a first for the cathedral – and we’re learning fast how to make this happen. But we would be delighted for you to worship with us via your computer or phones.

Second, Church Together in England has called for a national day of prayer on Sunday, and invites everyone to join in by lighting a candle in their window at 7pm, and to pray for our nation and world in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. This shared symbolic action can again be a way of finding unity even in our separation. More details are available at https://www.cte.org.uk/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=569010

There are many ways in which we, as the Cathedral Community, can support each other during these challenging times. Keeping in touch via the telephone is an obvious way, and if you would like someone to call you, please be in touch with Chris Palmer on 07906 249132. We really want to know if you are self-isolating, or poorly. Alternatively you can email [email protected] We cannot visit in person, and sadly cannot bring Home Communion, but we are very keen to keep in touch. There may be a possibility for virtual meetings or even a coffee morning via your phone or computer. Please use the pastoral care email if you would be interested in joining in on this. For additional advice on using Zoom, a video conferencing app, please see the link below.

Another way we want to keep in touch is via a weekly e-newsletter (which will also be posted to the website): we’re going to send out an email each week with news of what is carrying on here at the cathedral, alongside some Christian reflection, and an update of key events taking place within the community: birthdays, anniversaries, and so on. This is the first such newsletter, but we hope future editions will be slightly fuller with more to keep you up to date. Please pass it on to as many people as you know and encourage them to sign up for themselves.

Some current challenges facing the Cathedral
We are all delighted to have received the Lottery Grant, and are still working hard to progress this project: developing plans, undertaking investigations, gaining permissions and so on. So the longer term is still looking pretty positive. But like so many people, we face huge financial challenges in the short term. You will appreciate, I’m sure, that our income sources have dried up dramatically in the past week, and will remain dry for the foreseeable future. So we want to ask for your help – if you are able. Many of you kindly donate by planned giving: is it possible for you to increase this in any way? Or might you be able to make a one-off donation? We are, like everyone else, having to review our expenditure, but we want this cathedral to be sustainable through the crisis and beyond, and that means retaining staff, who will focus on building our online community, seeking funding from alternative sources, improving our records and systems, and ensuring the building is safe, and properly maintained through these difficult times. Any contribution towards these costs will be hugely appreciated, and make a real difference to our financial viability.

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