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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 9 October 2016 Posted on Tuesday 11 October 2016

*The below message is taken from the weekly Cathedral Record newsletter. The full Cathedral Record is available to pick up from the Cathedral or can be downloaded here.*

The break in to the Cathedral last week has left us all rather shocked and saddened. Not so much that someone would attempt to steal money from the collection boxes – there is nothing new in that, there have been attempts from time to time when the Cathedral has been open – but it was more the level of damage and vandalism that was caused in an effort to get what would only have been some loose change. The two large collection boxes in the shape of the Cathedral were completely smashed. Apart from this there was damage to the relatively new aluminium and glass inner doors to the main entrance and also to the point of entry into the building. The collection boxes are emptied each day and the money taken off site so there is very little point in going to so much effort to break into the building. The incident happened at about 2am and I had to negotiate through hundreds of drunken students who were pouring out of the Students Union to wait for the police so that we could enter the building together. It felt like I had entered into the twilight zone from a deep sleep one minute to chaotic mayhem the next.

Next week I will be away for a few days at the Catholic Deans Conference in Arundel. Which no doubt will provide a very different and contrasting Cathedral experience to that of Liverpool. The town is built around the Castle and estate which is the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk, (Howard family) who following the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1860’s commissioned the building of a Catholic Church which is now the Cathedral for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. No doubt we will get a chance to visit the various historic sites and be given a flavour of the thousand years of history associated with the Castle and the Dukes who have lived there – notable amongst them was St Philip Howard one of the English Martyrs.

However before I go on my travels the TV programme ‘Flog It’ want to visit our site and relate the story of the building of our Cathedral incorporating film of both our buildings. The programme is based around an auction taking place in Cheshire but they want to include our Cathedral as a place the presenter visits in between valuations and the actual auction taking place. In the past 18 months I have been interviewed for three sales programmes – I’m beginning to feel more like a second hand salesman rather than a Cathedral Dean.

This Sunday there will be no afternoon Choral Evening Prayer here – both Cathedral Choirs will be singing at a Joint Choral Evensong at Liverpool Cathedral at 3pm this afternoon to mark the end of the visit of the ‘Friends of Cathedral Music’. On Wednesday and Thursday this week there will be a Careers Fair organised by Liverpool University in the Crypt Halls. This will no doubt be a rather noisy event so the 12.15pm Mass on both those days will be transferred to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

Next Saturday is the final chance to take part in a Diocesan Holy Year Pilgrimage Day, starting at 10am, as we welcome the Deaneries of Ormskirk and Upholland to the Cathedral. There is also a meeting and mass for members of the Society of St Gregory that afternoon and a Grand Dinner for the Worshipful Company of Architects in the Crypt that evening.

Saint Edwards College Community join us for the Solemn Mass next Sunday, being the Sunday nearest to the Feast of St Edward the Confessor. It is also an opportunity for the College to welcome their new Head Teacher, Mr Stephen Morris, who has been in post since the start of the term. Mr Morris and his family have become very involved in the life of our Cathedral since moving up to Merseyside.

Canon Anthony O’Brien