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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 4 November 2018 Posted on Saturday 3 November 2018

Armistice Day
In recent years the Cathedral and the City Centre ministries such as the Shrine and the University Chaplaincy have been classed as a Pastoral Area/Deanery in its own right. In the past we have been joined as a deanery with the south end (Toxteth and Aigburth parishes) and more recently the north end (Scotland Road and Walton). When they were each re-organised we were cast adrift on our own. The problem is that nobody really knows what to do with us as we don’t easily fit in to a regular parish structure. With the recent arrival of the White Fathers at St Vincent’s parish, and the forthcoming move of Father Silviu to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Patricks to replace Fr John Southworth who has been appointed as parish priest of St Paul’s, West Derby, there is change afoot again. Archbishop Malcolm wants us to join with the South of Liverpool Deanery to form a larger Pastoral Area stretching from Garston to the City Centre. This will enable us to maintain links with St Vincent’s and the surrounding parishes to the City Centre and be more engaged in wider pastoral discussions.

The 100th anniversary of Armistice Day will be celebrated nationally on 11th November. It is a day of giving thanks for the end of the end of the War 100 years ago, recalling the outpouring of national relief marking the end of the conflict, of remembrance of those who died and of giving thanks for a time of peace. The Cathedral Choir will sing Mozart’s setting for the Requiem Mass at the Solemn Mass next Sunday for Remembrance and from 12.30 the bells of both Cathedrals will be rung for an hour as a mark of thanksgiving. It was famously quoted that the advent of the War meant ‘that the lights went out across Europe’ but it wasn’t just the lights but also the sound of bells were silenced, only to be heard again as a sign of peace, celebration and a symbol of everything returning to normality.

With this armistice anniversary in mind we want to make the weekend of Christ the King at the end of the month a time of prayer for peace. Hope University have organised a special day conference on peace and reconciliation on Saturday 24th November and linked with this on Sunday the Feast of Christ the King there will be a special Ecumenical Evening prayer at our Cathedral at 3pm for peace involving the church leaders on Merseyside, both Cathedral choirs and representatives from the Cologne churches link group.

More news on the Diocesan Synod now. We will need to have at least one and possibly two parish members for the Diocesan Synod in 2020. They will need to be committed to the Synod process by attending meetings and will participate in preparation and formation. They must also ‘with support and guidance be prepared to lead group discussions, to listen with respect and without judgement to the ideas and opinions of others and to gather and record people’s ideas and feed them back faithfully to the diocese. There are a number of information meetings across the Diocese over the next few weeks open to anyone who wishes to find out more about the Synod and the preparation process. I would like to invite any of you who may be interested in being our Cathedral Synod member and feel that you would be able to commit to the whole training, discussion and discerning programme over the next 2 years to get in touch and speak to me or one of the Cathedral priests. Or you could also nominate someone as long as you have their agreement. There are some forms available which provide some more information on what is involved in the role at the back of the Cathedral and the Crypt.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean