We will keep a two minute silence at 11.00am this Sunday to mark the exact time, 100 years ago, when the First World War came to an end. It was said at the time by the Prime Minister Lloyd George “I hope that we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came an end to all wars”.
We are silent to remember the sacrifice of so many who lost their lives during this conflict and conflicts since then who responded to the call to serve their country and never returned home. We remember, not just to honour those who died, but to spur us on to pray and work for peace in our communities and our world, and today we also recall the joyful celebrations that took place 100 years ago on the announcement that the war had finally come to an end. Both Cathedral bells will ring out across the City as a mark of thanksgiving for peace.
On Tuesday the Chapter of Canons meet at Cathedral House and will join us for Mass at 12.15pm – which will be celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. No doubt one of the main topics for discussion at their meeting will be the forthcoming Diocesan Synod.
On Saturday the new suffragan Bishop of Liverpool, Beverley Mason, will be welcomed and installed as the Bishop of Warrington at a ceremony in Liverpool Cathedral.
Next weekend there are celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of our Girls’ Cathedral Choir. At the time St Edward’s College under the headship of Mr John Waszek was keen to offer the girls the same opportunities as the boys regarding choral places at the College in line with developments at many other choir schools throughout the country.
The Cathedral also wished to extend the opportunity for choral involvement to girls in the formation of a separate choir. There were some difficult obstacles to be overcome at the time, not least how it could be financed (the Cathedral already had and still has considerable debts in meeting our running costs), what impact it would have on the existing choir, and the changes that would need to be made to set up and accommodate another group of young people with differing needs and of an older age range.
With good will on all sides and the enthusiasm of the Cathedral music department consisting of Mr Tim Noon, Philip Arkwright (who became the girls first director) preparations were made and a schedule of rehearsals and sung weekday services were agreed, with the first members being made up of girls who were already in the school who volunteered to become choristers. The choir is now an important and integral part of the life of the Cathedral and can list numerous radio broadcasts, recordings and tours over the course of their short history with more than a hundred young women who have sung in the choir.
Canon Anthony O’Brien