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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 10th September 2023 Posted on Saturday 9 September 2023

Relics Visit

With all the children now back at school for the start of the new academic year, sadly the holidays are over for another year for most people and the Cathedral is back to full strength with the normal full schedule of worship. We mark this new beginning with an act of renewal and rededication to our various ministries and involvement in Cathedral life at the celebrations of Mass this Sunday. We ask for the Lord’s blessing on the Cathedral as we begin this new academic year.

The external works at the Cathedral have progressed apace over the summer period and we now have ditches and mounds all over the site preparing the way for concrete footings for a new access ramp to the Cathedral and making the grounds ready for the design of the new café and gift shop facility. This first phase of work will be concluded in a couple of weeks and then the planning and design process gets into full swing to move the whole project forward. This is the stage that will be both exciting and yet will also bring with it questions re affordability and how the project will be financed.

As the choir term gets underway the Choir Association are holding their Annual General Meeting on Sunday afternoon after Choral Evening Prayer – the meeting is open to all members of the Association. There will also be a meeting on Tuesday evening for all the new probationers and their parents on Tuesday evening.

On Thursday evening St Edward’s College are holding their Annual Prize Giving Ceremony at the Cathedral.

This coming Saturday there is a Whisky Festival in the Crypt Hall and I noticed that the spelling of whisky in the adverts included an E – spelt whiskey. This sparked a bit of controversy in Cathedral House when I asked if the products were from Scotland or from Ireland – Irish whiskey has an e and Scottish whisky is without the e. I was told it didn’t really matter as it all tastes the same and there were probably both countries whiskies on offer. As I wasn’t going to be at the event I didn’t comment further. However, it didn’t really acknowledge the proud tradition that both countries have in relation to the spirits they produce.

This proud tradition of both countries is most strongly felt in honouring their patron saints and next week we host a visit of the relics of three Scottish Saints to our Cathedral. These three saints are St Andrew the Apostle, St Columba, a 6th Century Monk from Donegal who established a monastery on Iona and spread the faith through Scotland and Northern England. Also, Saint Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Scotland in 11th Century who was renowned for her piety, her charity and renewing the church within her domain. There will be a Mass of Reception of the Relics on Monday 18th September at 5pm celebrated by Bishop Tom Neylon. The Relics will remain in the Cathedral for personal prayer and veneration until Thursday 21st with the visit concluding with Mass at 12.15pm.    All welcome.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean