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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 16th April 2023 Posted on Saturday 15 April 2023

New Bishop of Liverpool

From the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday and onwards the Bishops Conference of England and Wales have permitted parishes to reintroduce communion under both kinds to allow parishioners the choice of receiving also from the Sacred Chalice. Here at the Cathedral it will take some time for us to reintroduce this at Sunday Masses because of the numbers in attendance and the shortage of Eucharistic Ministers at present so we are going to adopt a gradual approach. From this week we will offer communion under both kinds at daily Mass when there is a minister to assist. From Pentecost onwards we will then hope to extend this to our Sunday Masses. Some people will understandably have different opinions regarding the safety of this in the view of the Covid crisis we have lived through so can I stress that this is an individual choice and that whether we receive Holy Communion under one species or two we receive the Risen Lord in all His fullness.

The new Anglican Bishop of Liverpool will be installed at a Service at Liverpool Cathedral next Saturday afternoon. Bishop John Perumbalath originates from Kerala and was formerly the Suffragan (Auxiliary) Bishop of Chelmsford. We welcome him to the City and no doubt we will have a chance to welcome him to our Cathedral at a shared service in the near future. Also, this week Rome has announced the appointment of a new Papal Nuncio for Great Britain, he is Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia. The Archbishop was born in Madrid and has served in appointments across a number of continents serving most recently as papal Nuncio to Rumania and Moldova. Let’s hope he is not a supporter of Real Madrid, Liverpool FC’s nemesis!

The annual Grand National sweep at Cathedral House didn’t do me any favours this year. I was hoping for the horse ‘Recite a Prayer’ which at least meant it was honest regarding the fact that it wouldn’t win without Divine intervention. Instead I picked out ‘Born by the Sea’ which sounded as though it had spent all its time on the beach. Anyway by the time of reading this, the race will have taken place and as usual my horse won’t have made it to the finish – but that is the fun of the National because there is much greater chance for an outsider to pull off a surprise and win the race. So even if you have no understanding of horse racing form you have a chance.  The Grand National is a little bit like the life of the Church.  We all have a chance to finish the race, but some of us may stumble on some of the fences as we go along!

A huge thanks to everyone who helped and contributed to preparing and playing a part in the Services over Holy Week and Easter. It takes the good will and skill of so many people to enable the liturgy to be celebrated with such dignity and meaning. I hope everyone has had a chance for rest and enjoyment this Easter Week despite the poor weather.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean