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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 15th January 2023 Posted on Saturday 14 January 2023

Peace Sunday

This Sundays readings continue on from last week, the feast of the Lord’s baptism. Through the Lords acceptance of His mission, God’s salvation is to reach the whole world. As the church we are sanctified by the Lord to carry that good news and show forth the light of Christ through the witness of our lives. ‘He will make us the light of the nations to bring God’s salvation to the whole world’. As this is Peace Sunday today may we commit ourselves to be people of peace and as a church work for peace through justice and dialogue.

We remember with prayer and fondness Sister Anthony Wilson whose funeral service takes place this week at the Notre Dame convent in Woolton. Sister Anthony ran the Cathedral Art Studio for many years following a long career teaching at Mount Pleasant teacher training college. She retired from involvement here almost ten years ago. She was responsible for designing many of the vestments and the various tapestries within the Cathedral and the Crypt. In her earlier years Sister Anthony would be present in the Sacristy on important celebrations making sure that we were all coordinated and dressed appropriately and even Archbishops did as they were told. She was an extremely gifted person and managed to gather teams of people to work with her, creating hangings and vestments for the Cathedral and many parishes throughout the Diocese. We give thanks for her years of service to the Cathedral and pray for the repose of her soul.

We begin the week of prayer for Christian unity from 18th to 25th January. The theme for prayer this year is ‘Be –Longing, praying for unity amidst injustice’. We will be joining with Liverpool Cathedral next Sunday afternoon at 3pm for a joint service of choral evening prayer as part of this week of prayer. The service this year will take place in Liverpool Cathedral. Fr Derek has drawn the short straw to be the guest preacher for this occasion. Being a fan of royalty the other clergy are wondering whether Prince Harry may get a mention in Fr Derek’s homily – you will need to come along to find out! The blessing printed below is based on an ancient Franciscan Prayer of blessing on the theme for our prayer this year.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may live deeply within your heart. 

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. 

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. 

And May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world. So that you can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to our children and the poor. Amen.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean