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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 19th May 2024 Posted on Saturday 18 May 2024

Pentecost Sunday

The feast of Pentecost is not only a major day of celebration in the church year, but it is also a day of special significance to this Cathedral. It was on the Solemnity of Pentecost 1967 that Bishop Augustine Harris presided at the opening mass with a packed Cathedral including Cardinals, Bishops, Prime Minister, civic leaders and individuals representing all aspects of diocesan and civic life. Crowds thronged the areas outside of the Cathedral intent on seeing the inside of the completed building once the service had ended. That was 57 years ago. Then on Pentecost in 1982 St John Paul 2 came to Liverpool as part of a pastoral visit to England and Wales. On Pentecost Sunday he visited Liverpool Anglican cathedral and then journeyed down Hope Street, which was thronged with huge crowds of people, to celebrate the Mass of Pentecost at our Cathedral. There was a packed Cathedral congregation and even bigger crowds outside eager to catch a glimpse of the Pope and to welcome him to our city. Pope John Paul encouraged us to work for unity and, through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, give common witness to our shared faith in Christ. Although these are now historical events they define what we are today and give added significance to the way that we celebrate this Festive Day. It is a day of rejoicing and celebration of the beginnings of the church and our own beginnings here with Christ as our Foundation and the Holy Spirit as inspiration and guide, it is also a day of unity when we celebrate our common fellowship with all our Christian brothers and sisters.

This afternoon we come together for the Annual Joint Churches service for Pentecost, ‘Building Gods Church Together’. This year Pentecost Sunday, 19th May 2024 will mark 100 years of Liverpool Cathedral and the 2 Cathedrals Pentecost Service will be a family friendly event of celebration with live music and giant games.

It starts at 3pm at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral where Monsignor John Devine OBE will be preaching. Then everyone will be taking a pilgrimage walk down Hope Street and receive a final blessing at Liverpool Cathedral.  You can meet characters from the last 100 years during the event, enjoy a thanksgiving picnic at Liverpool Cathedral by bringing your own picnic or dining in the Welsford Bistro. There is a large interactive installation at Liverpool Cathedral at this time along with other children’s activities taking place at the end of the service.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean