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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 13 January 2019 Posted on Sunday 13 January 2019

Reviews and Planning
Apart from Brexit the main thing in the news this week has been the trading reports of all the big companies following their performance over the Christmas period. These focus on sales, footfall and the breakdown between online and shop purchases and all are compared against previous years. It has always amazed me that some companies rely on a few of the main days of Christmas trading to make the difference between profit and loss for the year and also how everyone relies on trading to increase year on year as the sign of success – what is wrong with maintaining a similar clientele or reduced numbers as long as the quality remains and a degree of profit is achieved. That is probably why I am not in business!

We are due to meet this week to do our own review of the Christmas period which doesn’t focus on profit but rather on how things went, the footfall for the various services and events, also comparisons with previous years to try to establish what went well, and what we need to improve on. So here are our headlines. Numbers at the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations and the Christmas Concert and Carol Service were up on the last few years apart from Midnight Mass which was similar to previous years.

The services over Christmas were solemn, dignified and joyful celebrations of the Great Feast and went well. The use of social media for advertising and promoting events and online sales for tickets was very successful in attracting more people. The overall decoration of the Cathedral for Christmas was greatly appreciated and remarked on by many people.

We would love to see more people making visits to the Cathedral for prayer over the Advent and Christmas period outside of the main celebrations but that remains an ongoing challenge. I’m sure there will be other positives and negatives and suggestions for improvement when we discuss things in greater detail but overall we had a good Christmas this year at the Met. Thanks to all who helped and contributed in any way.

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist marking the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. This Sunday also reminds us of the call that is made to all the baptised to live lives of witness to Christ. Next Sunday marks the beginning of the week of prayer for Christian Unity and we will be hosting a joint Service of Choral Evening Prayer at 3pm. The Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, Doctor Sue Jones, will be the guest preacher and both Cathedral Choirs will be taking part in the service. The most recent discussions by the Joint Roman Catholic and Anglican Commission resulted in a document entitled ‘Walking Together on the Way’ which would also be a good description of the relationship between our two Cathedrals. Please come along and join us for this shared service next Sunday afternoon.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean