Day of Divine Mercy
After a very busy and enjoyable Easter weekend here, we managed to have a few quieter days celebrating the Easter Octave. The pace of life picks up again this week. This Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter is also Divine Mercy Day. Our service schedule is back to normal next week with choral services restarting from Tuesday. There is a visiting choir on Friday evening who will sing at the evening mass so there will be no sung evening prayer that night. The Feast of St George, Patron of England is celebrated on Monday 24 April this year with the Feast of St Mark, Evangelist, the following day.
Over the last few months a considerable amount of thought and consultation has gone into trying to find a satisfactory way of utilising the original Archbishops Chair designed for the Cathedral and yet giving it the appropriate prominence as one of the principal focal points of the building with some way of displaying the coat of arms of the current Archbishop. The Chair that is used at present is from the former Pro Cathedral and was designed for a gothic building and setting. The proposed solution is to reinstate the Episcopal Chair designed by Professor Russell for the Gibberd Cathedral without alteration. Originally it had a canopy above – but the intention is to have a clear glass screen behind the Chair with the Archbishops Coat of Arms on the glass screen. The platform for the chair will need to be slightly widened and altered to accommodate the screen and allow room for a different chair arrangement for Sundays when the Archbishop is not presiding here. Hopefully this will provide a permanent solution for future generations of Diocesan Bishops – but who knows!
Work is meant to start this week on repairs to the steps leading up to the Cathedral Precinct from Brownlow Hill. It is due to take about six weeks so there will be times when this route will be closed to the public during this period. The dilapidated and vandalised state of this area has been an eyesore for some time with a considerable amount of the damage being caused by skateboarders. The repairs will not only tidy up the area but also offer a more vandal proof finish.
In September next year the Bishops Conference of England and Wales are planning a National Eucharistic Congress to be held in Liverpool. The main events for an expected 10,000 participants will take place at the Arena Conference Centre with some liturgies here at the Cathedral. The National Co-ordinators are travelling up to Liverpool this Friday for meetings to begin the planning process. This has the potential to be one of the next major events on the horizon following our Jubilee Year.
Once again I would want to thank everyone involved in ministering, helping or preparing the Cathedral for the services over Holy Week and Easter. It is such an important, special and sacred time for us all and it can only be celebrated properly when we all work together. As with previous years it was encouraging to see so many people attending the various services! Many thanks and may we all experience a real sense of joy and peace over this Easter Season.