Fifth Sunday of Easter
This fifth Sunday of Easter we hear proclaimed the Gospel passage in which Jesus refers to himself as the Vine providing sustenance and life to the branches so that they can bear fruit.” I am the vine and you are the branches – make your home in me as I make mine in you.” It is the Holy Eucharist that is for us that source of sustenance which keeps us one with Christ the Vine and which enables us to bear fruit that will last to eternal life.
On Wednesday Evening, 2nd May, there will be a special service of Choral Evening Prayer at 6pm in Celebration of Seventy Years of the National Health Service. Lord Alton and Dame Lorna Muirhead will be speaking at the service in which will be giving thanks for the achievements and great work of the NHS over these years and giving thanks for the contribution that so many make to in the provision of healthcare in our local region.
Next Saturday marks a new chapter in the history of Liverpool Cathedral with the Installation of the Eighth Dean of Liverpool, Canon Susan Jones, who will also be the first female Dean at the Cathedral. Canon Susan has some big shoes to step into following in the footsteps of some influential past Deans but she has considerable experience both pastorally and as a former Dean with previous roles as Dean of Bangor and acting Dean at Derby Cathedrals. Each of the last three Anglican Deans I have worked with have each put their own stamp on the direction of Cathedral life and I’m sure that Canon Susan will want to bring some fresh approaches as well as continuing to support the current priorities that have been set by their Cathedral Chapter. We wish her well as she begins her ministry here in Liverpool.
Archbishop Malcolm was in Rome this week with some of our diocesan priests, including Fr Dominic, and following the Wednesday audience he spoke with Pope Francis regarding Alfie Evans. He was interviewed by the Tablet publication following this and he said “I saw the Holy Father after the Wednesday general audience and we talked about Alfie. I was struck by his compassionate attitude to both Alfie and his parents, and he promised that he is continuing to pray for them. I explained to him that the Catholic people of Liverpool are heartbroken for Alfie and his parents and continuing to offer support and prayers. I am also grateful for the medical and chaplaincy care which Alfie is receiving and has received at Alder Hey. I know that they have been doing everything that is humanly possible. Our prayer at this difficult moment is that the Lord will give everyone the spiritual strength to face the immediate future.” The most recent news that I have heard is that Alfie’s parents were applying to take him home, having been refused the possibility of taking the child to the hospital in Rome, I hope their wish to have some more private time with their child is granted. We remember them in prayer at this time.