Hills and Mountains An Introduction – 2

During Lent and Passiontide, we will journey through some of the hills and mountains of Palestine and Israel, the Holy Land. Each of these mountains has a story that is woven into our faith stories.

 

Click below to continue reading

 

002 Hills and Mountains An Introduction 2 pr 10-02-24

I spent my teens and early twenties in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire. From where I lived, I could see the ruins of Clitheroe Castle securely sited on the top of Castle hill. Climb to the top of the castle mount looking eastward you would see, on a clear day, Pendle Hill rising 1827 feet, 557 metres above sea level.

To read on follow this link..

001 – Hills and Mountains An Introduction pr – 03-02-24

There was a proposal in 1540 that Southwell Minster become a cathedral, and 344 years later, in 1884 it became the cathedral for Nottingham and parts of Derbyshire, including the city of Derby.  In 1927, the Diocese of Derby was created. The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham has around 300 churches in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and two in South Yorkshire.

 

Interested in reading more?  Click here for the full reflection: Southwell and Nottingham

 

Sheffield Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul

008 Sheffield Cathedral pr – 20-01-24 There has been a Christian connection with this site for over 1000 years, although it was only granted Cathedral status in 1914. Over these years, there has been an unbroken witness to our faith through worship, prayer, and witness.

 

To continue reading this reflection, follow the link:

008 Sheffield Cathedral pr – 20-01-24

 

The January issue of our church magazine offers news, articles, poetry, dates and more!  Happy reading!

 

Lifeline 201 Jan 2024

Its Cathedrals and Pro–Cathedral, Leeds Minster.

A diocese with three cathedrals, Bradford and Wakefield, Ripon, and a Pro-Cathedral, Leeds Minster

The Diocese of Leeds was created on 20th April 2014. This followed a review, which started in 2009, by the Dioceses Commission. It will come as no surprise that this process was not without much debate and a daresay much heart ache. The scheme went to a vote within the dioceses involved Bradford and Ripon and Leeds diocesan synod voted in favour to the scheme, Wakefield did not. The scheme did not need of three dioceses to vote in favour. The proposal was approved by General Synod in July 2013 and in April 2014 the largest diocese, by area, in the Church of England was created, it is almost 2500 square miles (about 6500 km) with a population of over 2.3 million people, with over 650 churches.

For on the background to these proposal type into your search engine Anglican Diocese of Leeds Wikipedia has an interesting entry. It is important to type in the word Anglican as there is a Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds.

The architectural heritage within the Anglican Diocese of Leeds offers a rich variety of architectural styles reflecting time, the consequences of change and the preferences of the architects, Deans and Bishops.

My companion as I explore our cathedrals has been England’s Cathedrals (2016) by Sir Simon Jenkins. It is clearly my go to text, and I have quoted him on numerous occasions, and I am sure that some for the phrases I have used bare more than a slight resemblance to his but without reference to him for that I apologise.

The common feature of churches, minsters, and cathedrals the people for without them become the buildings as beautiful as they are are empty shells.
Visit the Cathedral and Minster web pages for more news about what goes on in the cathedrals and minster. Below are the web page links along with a few additional photographs.

 

BRADFORD Cathedral

 

Welcome to Bradford Cathedral

 

 

Of Bradford cathedral Simon Jenkins writes, ‘Bradford cathedral is compact. The solid Tudor tower of 1508 is like a stout wedge driven into the ground to stop the building sliding downhill. The porch is big enough for a village wedding’. (Page 17)

 

 

WAKEFIELD Cathedral

Wakefield Cathedral – Christ. Culture. Community.

 

Speaking of modernisations Simon Jenkins speaks warmly of the ‘handsome Early Gothic arcades … and a friendly wooden roof. … The more recent renovation was extensive and successful, rendering the nave light and warm.’ He was less flattering regarding the door at the West end of the cathedral describing it as ‘jarring’ and ‘reminiscent of an airport security zone.’ (page 261)

 

RIPON Cathedral

 

Ripon Cathedral Celebrating Over 1350 Years of History

 

Nave

 

Crypt at Ripon Cathedral

Ripon cathedral evolved from a basilica church, that is a large public building with multiple uses. It was built by St Wilfred in AD 672. All that survives today is the stone crypt, the oldest structure of any English cathedral.

The site as we know it today was constructed in the time of Roger de Pont l’Évêque, Archbishop of York 1154-81.

 

LEEDS Minster

 

Home – Leeds Minster -Open menu select About us, then History and Heritage for a short video about the minster.

While the current Gothic Revival building was only completed in 1841, the Minster sits on the site of the oldest church in the city. The Minster was built as the Leeds Parish Church of St Peter. In 2012 it was given the title Minster to mark the late Queen Elizabeths Diamiond Jubilee. Its formal title is Minster and Parish Church of St Peter at Leeds. It is also a Pro-Cathedral, a pro-cathedral is a church named by a diocesan bishop which will serve as a cathedral without having the permanent status of cathedral.

Time of Reflective Prayer

A time to Pause and Reflect

Slow down, breath calmly,
Slowly breathing in and out and relax.
Lay on one side those things that unsettle your senses
and rest in the presence of God.

Please prayer for cathedrals and pro cathedral in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds

Loving God, draw us on the journey
to the places of holiness, the places of peace,
the places of encounter, the places of beauty,
the places where faith has been lived, your love made known,
your hope held out in the past, for the present, into your future. Amen

We join in with the Chet Valley Churches for I the Lord of sea and sky

Collect for the second week of Epiphany
Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end:
bring us with the whole creation to your
glory, hidden through past ages and made known
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Words from Psalm 139 (1-5)

O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;
• you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You mark out my journeys and my resting place
• and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
• but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You encompass me behind and before
• and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
• so high that I cannot attain it.

Pause and reflection on the words from the Psalm 139, slowly read them again.

In our prayers we welcome those who are searching for faith.

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Family and Friends
Local church and its leaders
wider community
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed, those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill, those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

When asked about how to pray Jesus gave these simple but profound words, so let them be our prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen

Closing Prayer

Adapted from Bury Mission Community Prayer (Diocese of Manchester)

Loving God,
Jesus called his disciples to seek your kingdom and follow him.
You summon us to share work of our Pilgrim Community
Open our hearts to hear his invitation to be his disciples in this generation.
Grant us courage.
Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit.
Give us compassion, wisdom and resilience.
Pour on us your endless grace that we may flourish, and our parishes grow in faith and love, service and compassion,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Enjoy these moments! God bless.

John Rutters Deep Peace by Libera

 

Fr. Derek Akker

(Derek is a retired Anglican Parish Priest and a member of the congregations of All Saints & St James. Prior to his ordination he was accredited as a Methodist Preacher in 1968 and served within the Methodist Church until returning to the Anglican Church in the mid 1980’s)
≈≈≈
Parish of Kirklees Valley, Bury, (All Saints, Elton & St James, Woolfold) – In the Diocese of Manchester

Acknowledgements

Bradford Cathedral – Tim Green – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Wakefield Cathedral – Mtaylor848 – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Ripon Cathedral – Christopher Hilton – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Leeds Minster – Tim Green

Bradford Cathedral
Nave – Tim Green – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Stained glass – Mark Stevenson

Above Nave – Diliff – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Ripon Cathedral
Left Crypt – Martin Dawes Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

Leeds Minster, altar.
Altar – Alarichall – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Nave – Michael D Beckwith Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

 

Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Opening prayer from the Association of English Cathedrals
Collect -The Archbishops Council 2004

Cathedral Church of St Mary

‘Pugin’s cathedral, sits on a wide plinth opposite Newcastle’s railway station, its slender spire visible from across the Tyne. A curving flight of steps rises beneath the east end, overlooked by a 21st century statue of one of Newcastle’s favourite sons, Cardinal Basil Hume.’
(Simon Jenkins England’s Cathedrals page 169)

 

Cathedral Church of St Mary in the
Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. Consecrated 1844

The Cathedral Church of St Mary was largely funded through the halfpenny subscriptions of the poorest people of Tyneside.

The cathedral has undergone interior reordering in the past its most recently the renovation restored much of the beauty of the original design. It also included a new organ built by Kenneth Tickell of Northampton. It also has a café and restaurant.

Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852)
He had a major role in the Victorian Gothic Revival style of architecture.
He is remembered probably most for his work on the interior of the Houses of Parliament, and bell tower Big Ben, Elizabeth Tower.

Explore http://www.stmaryscathedral.org.uk under the option MORE you will find much more.

 

The cathedral, as with Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, are places of Christian worship and service and sanctuary in a busy city.

 

Cathedral Church of St Nicholas

‘Newcastle’s parish church of St Nicholas, with its eccentric steeple and elegant crown, had graced the banks of the Tyne since the 15th century. A local chronicler wrote that it lifteth up the head of majesty high above the rest as a cypress tree above low shrubs.’
(Simon Jenkins England’s Cathedrals page 169)

The Lantern steeple is 194 feet (59 metres) high.

There has been a church dedicated to St Nicholas probably since 1180. The eccentric steeple or perhaps, as the Cathedral’s History and Heritage web describes it as ‘one of the finest lantern towers in the country, dominating the skyline since the 15th century. The Pevsner Architectural Guide describes it as “Four flying buttresses leaning against each other and holding up a tall square lantern, battlemented and pinnacled – a rare form of medieval crown in Britain”. Why can’t it be the eccentric and one of the finest lantern towers’?

The cathedral web page https://newcastlecathedral.org.uk/History and heritage – directs you and gives a timeline with photographs and is worth a visit. It is also worth exploring the Cathedral Treasure on their web page for more of its medieval heritage.

Spending time on the web page can add to the appreciation of the history and life of worshipping and serving people.

Reordered Nave
At the Cathedral Church of St Nicolas.


Stained glass window, Chapel of the Ascension

Two Cathedrals which both seek to offer a sacred space where worship and a sanctuary in the midst of a often bust lives.

A prayer for our cathedrals and the people of Newcastle..

Loving God, draw us on the journey
to the places of holiness, the places of peace,
the places of encounter, the places of beauty,
the places where faith has been lived, your love made known,
your hope held out in the past, for the present, into your future. Amen

Time of reflective prayer

Epiphany

Pause and Reflect

Slow down, breath calmly,
Slowly breathing in and out and relax.
Lay on one side those things that unsettle your senses
and rest in the presence of God.

The Magi, singular Magus. In the Christian tradition the Magi probably came from Persia, in modern terms the region of Iran. They are seen as astrologers who were able to interpret the stars and believed they had seen a star that pointed to the birth of a king, the Messiah. They come bearing three gifts.

We join with the Chet Valley Churches to sing a traditional Epiphany hymn

https://youtu.be/UB8rKNrlpDQ?si=nRQ_muFTr8KTT_PZ&t=6

Collect

Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah (60.1-3)
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

A reading from Matthew – The Magi visit arrive at Bethlehem 2.10 -12
When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Pause and reflection on the words from our readings. Read the passages again slowly pausing over words that perhaps strike accord with you.

In our prayers we welcome those who are searching for faith.

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Family and Friends
Local church and its leaders
wider community
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed, those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill, those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

When asked about how to pray Jesus gave these simple but profound words, so let them be our prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen

Closing Prayer

Adapted from Bury Mission Community Prayer (Diocese of Manchester)

Loving God,
Jesus called his disciples to seek your kingdom and follow him.
You summon us to share work of our Pilgrim Community
Open our hearts to hear his invitation to be his disciples in this generation.
Grant us courage.
Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit.
Give us compassion, wisdom and resilience.
Pour on us your endless grace that we may flourish, and our parishes grow in faith and love, service and compassion,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We listen to John Rutters setting for ‘We Three Kings of Orient’
From St Edward’s Church Choir of the Parish Church of St Edward the Confessor, Romford. Directed by Jonathan Venner. Organist: Alan Leach.

You may wish the finish this time of reflective prayer sitting silently and enjoying a peaceful moment or two. Enjoy these moments! God bless!

Fr. Derek Akker

(Derek is a retired Anglican Parish Priest and a member of the congregations of All Saints & St James. Prior to his ordination he was accredited as a Methodist Preacher in 1968 and served within the Methodist Church until returning to the Anglican Church in the mid 1980’s)
≈≈≈
Parish of Kirklees Valley, Bury, (All Saints, Elton & St James, Woolfold) – In the Diocese of Manchester

Acknowledgements

Photographs in descending order
AlixChaytor- Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Kage ca at English Wikipedia – Public domain
Madame.evangelista – Public domain
Christopher Down – Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Print from the United States Library of Congress – Public domain
Mike Quinn – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Michael D Beckwith
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication

 

Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Opening prayer from the Association of English Cathedrals
Collect -The Archbishops Council 2004

The Cathedral was closed for re-ordering in August 2023 when I started to write this reflection. It is hoped the work will be completed for Easter 2024.
The original cathedral, now in ruins, was the cathedral for Sodor and Man. Today the diocese is the smallest in the Church of England.
In the 19th century there were moves to incorporate the diocese into the Diocese of Carlisle (1836) and then into the Diocese of Liverpool, when it was formed (1880). Both proposals failed.

Sodor
The Norwegian diocese of Sodor was formed in 1154, it covered the Hebrides and the other islands along the west coast of Scotland, The Southern Isles. The Northern Isles were Orkney and Shetland.
Man
The Isle of Man was included in the Sothern Isles.

 

The ruins of the former Cathedral of St. German

 

The Cathedral today

FinnWikiNo-Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

The Dean, the Very Reverend Nigel Godfrey explains the design of the new logo:
“We wanted a symbol that was modern-looking to reflect the exciting changes that are underway at the Cathedral. It is also intended to incorporate our artistic and religious heritage – hence the references to Archibald Knox and the Bishop’s crozier. The fish has a strong Christian tradition – as well as being synonymous with the fishing port of Peel. Finally, we felt the need to incorporate movement in the same way as the Three Legs of Man symbol is a dynamic design. After all, the Cathedral is unique and belongs to the whole island and is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Sodor and Man.”

Introducing the major renovations under the heading ‘A Cathedral re-ordered for Mission in 21st Century’ their web page included this short history

‘History Building and re-building the Island’s Cathedral has been happening since the arrival of St German in 447. Until the late 18th century, the site was on St Patrick’s Isle off Peel. The ruins of the Medieval Cathedral remain there as part of Peel Castle, once the stronghold of the Norse Kings of Mann and the Isles. The present Cathedral was originally built between 1879-84 and while it was intended to be the new Cathedral, the necessary legislation was not passed by Tynwald, so it became a Parish Church to replace St Peter’s on Peel’s market place. Instead, the chapel at Bishopscourt, Kirk Michael acted as the pro-Cathedral. In 1979 with the sale of Bishopscourt, the diocese was left without a cathedral, and this forced the issue of choosing a new one. After public consultation, Kirk German Parish Church was designated, and dedicated on All Saints Day (1 November 1980).’
 

During the building work, the cathedral choir is on ‘safari’ around the island. The witness of the cathedral being heard Sunday by Sunday.

The cathedral is dedicated to St German. St German was a Celtic missionary who lived in the fifth century. He should not be confused with St Germaine of Auxerre. While they were contemporaries, St Germaine followed the Roman tradition of Christianity whereas St German was of the Celtic tradition. His Celtic name was Noo Carmane AspickVannin. As with many Celtic monks, St German founded many keeills across the Isle of Man, the Celtic term for a simple chapel.

In the cathedral there is an icon of St. German, which is there to draw us into an act of contemplation, drawing us closer to the image of God revealed by the life of the saint ‘. . . the true icon is always a call for conversion, an invitation to a process where we are all transformed into the same glorious image’ Cathedral web page

The icon presents St German as the travelling monk he was, and of characteristic Celtic appearance, with fair skin, red hair and green eyes. His head is shaved from ear to ear in the fashion of the Celtic church. He wears a hooded cloak, and over his shoulders the pallium denotes his status as Bishop. The Celtic cross is raised in his right hand; a sign of authority and blessing. In his left hand he holds a depiction of the present-day Cathedral, which carries on the work he began over 1,500 years ago. St German gazes unflinchingly and compassionately, seeming to challenge us with his unfinished mission. (Cathedral Isle of Man web page) 

Pause and Reflect

1st week of
Christmas
Slow down, breath calmly and relax.

Holy Father,
We give you thanks for Bishop German,
who toiled untiringly to spread the faith and to save souls.
Grant us his unswerving commitment to holiness
so that, like him, we may build up your Church on this island
and lead all people to your glory.
We ask this through the intercessions of your only Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the prayers of our patron St German.

Loving God, draw us on the journey
to the places of holiness, the places of peace,
the places of encounter, the places of beauty,
the places where faith has been lived, your love made known,
your hope held out in the past, for the present, into your future. Amen

We start with the carol Angels from the Realms of Glory from the Chet Valley Churches.

A reading from the Gospel of Luke (2.15-20)

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 1When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Pause and reflect on the words from the Gospel and ponder these words again:
Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Family and Friends
Local church and its leaders
wider community
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed, those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill, those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

When asked about how to pray Jesus gave these simple but profound words, so let them be our prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen

Closing Prayers

Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home:
help your Church to live as one family,
united in love and obedience,
and bring us all at last to our home in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Adapted from Bury Mission Community Prayer (Diocese of Manchester)

Loving God,
Jesus called his disciples to seek your kingdom and follow him.
You summon us to share work of our Pilgrim Community
Open our hearts to hear his invitation to be his disciples in this generation.
Grant us courage.
Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit.
Give us compassion, wisdom and resilience.
Pour on us your endless grace that we may flourish, and our parishes grow in faith and love, service and compassion,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen
+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Listen to Christmas Lullaby from John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers, City of London Sinfonia

Or you may wish the finish this time of reflective prayer sitting silently and enjoying a peaceful moment or two. You may also think about listening to some music that has touched you or a favourite hymn or song. Enjoy these moments! God bless!

Fr. Derek Akker

(Derek is a retired Anglican Parish Priest and a member of the congregations of All Saints & St James. Prior to his ordination he was accredited as a Methodist Preacher in 1968 and served within the Methodist Church until returning to the Anglican Church in the mid 1980’s)
≈≈≈
Parish of Kirklees Valley, Bury, (All Saints, Elton & St James, Woolfold) – In the Diocese of Manchester

Acknowledgements
Collect for St German Cathedral Isle of Man
Opening prayer from the Association of English Cathedrals
Collect -The Archbishops Council 2004
Candle Image – Ed Schipul – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

We celebrated Christmas with a Eucharist and a traditional service of 9 Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve. We return on Sunday 7th January for our Choral Eucharist at 2.30pm. In the meantime we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year.

Liverpool
One city, two cathedrals on Hope Street
One faith, two expressions

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral built on St James Mount
Philip Platt
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

 

 

Liverpool Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral
Superchilum

 

The Anglican Cathedral dedicated according, to the document of Consecration, as the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool; it also is referred to as the Cathedral Church of the Risen Christ. The cathedral is thought to be the largest cathedral in Britain, and also the eighth largest church in the world.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is a dramatic icon of faith, architecture, and human endeavour. An awe-inspiring landmark on the Liverpool skyline that you will not want to miss.
This Cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Liverpool and the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool, the spiritual leader of the whole Northern Province of the Catholic Church in England.

Please use the web pages for more of the cathedrals’ histories
Liverpool Cathedral :- https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/about-us/
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral :- https://liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk/
Hope Street is a fitting name for a street that is the home of two cathedrals. The street was named after William Hope, a merchant whose house stood on the site now occupied by the Philharmonic Hall.

 

 

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Drone photograph from inside the top of the lantern looking down on to the altar.

Taken by Lunar Aerial Imaging.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

 

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral central nave

Michael D Beckwith – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

While striking in their differences, these two cathedrals both offer a sacred space which can reach out and move you. I once sat in the Metropolitan Cathedral with the colours of the Lantern-stained glass dancing around the interior. I cannot remember how long I sat there but in that time I had a sense of the sacredness of this space.

In the Anglican cathedral I have sat and been moved as the choristers sang Evensong, their voices echoed around and seemed to fill the cathedral. Once again there was a sense of the sacred.

Differences again but also a unity, a sacred space where you can be drawn into prayer and praise.

Over the decades the various Anglican bishops and the Roman Catholic Archbishops of Liverpool have joined forces to campaign and seek to address injustices within their communities. Event in the aftermath of the civil unrest in Liverpool in the 1980’s and following the Hillsborough tragedy.

 

 

Original artists impression of Liverpool Cathedral, by Charles Herbert Reilly (1874–1948) first published in 1902, and reprinted in and scanned from Sharples, Joseph, ed (1996). Charles Reilly & the Liverpool School of Architecture 1904–1933. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-901-0

Public domain

 

 

Model of Lutyens’ design for the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net).
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

 

Another thing that the two cathedrals had in common. They both had early designs

 

Closing shots of Liverpool’s Cathedrals

 

Rept0n1x Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0

 

Both Cathedrals at Night

 

 

Veguiv
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

 

 

Bob Edwards
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

 

 

Pause and Reflect
4th week of Advent /
Christmas Eve

Slow down, breath calmly
and relax.

 

Opening prayer for cathedrals.

Loving God, draw us on the journey
to the places of holiness, the places of peace,
the places of encounter, the places of beauty,
the places where faith has been lived, your love made known,
your hope held out in the past, for the present, into your future. Amen

The St Michael’s Singers and Coventry Singers sing:

“The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came” was a Basque folk carol, originally based on ‘Angelus Ad Virginem’, a 13th or 14th Century Latin carol It was collected by Charles Bordes and then paraphrased into English by the hymn writer, priest and scholar, Sabine Baring-Gould. The tune is ‘Gabriel’s Message’, the traditional tune having been arranged by Edgar Pettman

 

Collect for Christmas Eve.

Almighty God,
as we prepare with joy
to celebrate the gift of the Christ-child,
embrace the earth with your glory
and be for us a living hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for Christmas Day
Lord Jesus Christ,
your birth at Bethlehem
draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth:
accept our heartfelt praise
as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God.

A reading from Luke’s Gospel 1.26-38
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Pause and reflection on the words from the Gospel focussing on the closing words:

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

In our prayers we welcome those who are searching for faith.

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Family and Friends
Local church and its leaders
wider community
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed, those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill, those facing death
Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

When asked about how to pray Jesus gave these simple but profound words, so let them be our prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen

Closing Prayer

Adapted from Bury Mission Community Prayer (Diocese of Manchester)

Loving God,
Jesus called his disciples to seek your kingdom and follow him.
You summon us to share work of our Pilgrim Community
Open our hearts to hear his invitation to be his disciples in this generation.
Grant us courage.
Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit.
Give us compassion, wisdom and resilience.
Pour on us your endless grace that we may flourish, and our parishes grow in faith and love, service and compassion,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Fr. Derek Akker

(Derek is a retired Anglican Parish Priest and a member of the congregations of All Saints & St James. Prior to his ordination he was accredited as a Methodist Preacher in 1968 and served within the Methodist Church until returning to the Anglican Church in the mid 1980’s)
≈≈≈
Parish of Kirklees Valley, Bury, (All Saints, Elton & St James, Woolfold) – In the Diocese of Manchester

Acknowledgements
Opening prayer from the Association of English Cathedrals
Collect -The Archbishops Council 2004
Candle Image – Elmar Ersch Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

 

Additional music

I am aware that the inclusion of the 1945 song from Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ hardly has the ring of Christmas about. The choice is your, listen or not.

The song now has close connections to Liverpool!

The background to the song is the character Nettie Fowler sings the song to comfort and encourage her cousin Julie when her husband, Billy Bigelow, the male lead, stabs himself with a knife whilst trying to run away after attempting a robbery and dies in her arms.

It has been recorded by many artist but for many it is the 1965 version by the Liverpool group Jerry and the Pacemakers that is on their playlist. It is associated with Liverpool Football Club but for some its association is wider and is with the city of Liverpool.

The song originally written to support a grieving young woman and is also used at the end of the musical when Billy Bigelow returns to earth and the invisible figure of Billy is granted the chance to return to Earth to, watch the graduation ceremony of his daughter Louise and he silently encourage Louise and Julie to join in with the song.

The song is a song of comfort, support, and encouragement. It is understandable that the song has reached out to people who know nothing of the songs original setting,

Here is Jerry and the Pacemakers, click the link