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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 2nd July 2023 Posted on Saturday 1 July 2023

St Nicholas’ Farewells

Liverpool Hope University have been hosting a Conference over the last few days arranged by the Bishops Conference for Evangelisation and Discipleship entitled ‘The Art of Accompaniment’. We welcome many of the participants who represent the various Dioceses across England and Wales who will be joining us for mass this Sunday at 11am.

At present the Golden Book office is closed whilst we await the updating of the online recording systems and the central permission to appoint a part time member of staff. I apologise that this seems to be taking such a long time and causing some distress we have tried to communicate the urgent need of this without much progress so far!

I also wanted to raise the matter of offerings for Mass Intentions for your attention. When I was asked recently what was the charge to have a mass said I replied that it wasn’t a charge but that the person would make an offering which would range from a few pounds to £20. I obviously didn’t explain it very well as they quickly responded by asking what was the price. So I admitted defeat and replied £5!  Some forty years ago as a young priest the generally accepted minimum offering for a mass intention was £2. Within a few years it became generally accepted that £5 was a more suitable offering to the priest for offering mass for that intention. The original historical purpose of the gift for the offering of mass was to support the upkeep for that priest for the day. Many people who come for mass cards currently, particularly if they are not familiar with church, simply see the payment as a set charge of £5 for having a mass said. As much as we try to explain that there isn’t a set cost but rather an offering which would be at the very least £5 if they can afford it, that seems to be what is seen as the cost of a mass. The purchasing power of £5 now to what it was all those years ago is considerably less these days. From September I am proposing that we will advise people who are having mass cards signed by us that the usual offering should be at least £10 if they can afford it.

This Tuesday at 10am, St Nicholas Primary School will celebrate their end of term mass in the Cathedral at 10am. This year not only will they be saying farewell to the children of Year 6 who will be moving on to Secondary School after the summer. The head teacher Mr Martin Davies will be retiring at the end of term after a long and distinguished career in education and the Deputy Head Mr Danny Lee will be moving on to a senior position in another primary school. There will be lots of farewells and thanks and changes within the life of the school at this time.

There will be a special Chapter Mass on Wednesday at 12.15. Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who is currently Secretary of Relations with States at the Vatican will here in his home Diocese to be enrolled as an honorary Canon of the Diocese by Archbishop Malcolm.

We offer our congratulations and prayer to Peter Ross who was on placement here at the Cathedral 18 months ago as a seminary student. Peter was due to be ordained a deacon at Oscott College in Birmingham yesterday, Saturday 1st July.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean