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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 10th November 2019 Posted on Saturday 9 November 2019

Rest In Peace Mgr Cookson
Monsignor Peter Cookson was not able to say Mass last Sunday as he was finding it difficult to stand, and on Monday after a visit from the doctor he was taken into the Royal Hospital. At that stage it was thought he had a virus infection. Sadly his condition deteriorated over the next few days and he died peacefully in the early hours of Friday morning. He was able to say his farewells to some of his family. He was well prepared to meet the Lord and I was able to sit with him and say some prayers in his final few hours on Friday morning.

Mgr has been semi-retired here living at the Cathedral for the last 14 years, but prior to this he had been Dean of the Cathedral for 17 years and prior to that had served as parish priest in Chorley and previously Rector of the Seminary at Ushaw, county Durham. He was widely known and held in high regard by a great many priests and people, and all of the Cathedral staff. May he now rest in peace and receive the reward of his labours.

Work begins this week to the Presbyterium area of the Cathedral Sanctuary to restore the use of the original Archbishops Chair which has been in safe storage over the last few years.

The current Cathedra originates from the Pro Cathedral of St Nicholas, a gothic building located on Copperas Hill which was demolished many years ago. Despite the heritage of the chair from the Pro Cathedral it was originally designed to be set into the wall and was never considered to be suitable for use at the time of the designing of our current building. The work, which begins on Monday, will include slight alterations to the presidential platform creating a wider space making it safer for the reception of processions of gifts and ministers. A new coat of arms will be hung above the restored and refurbished Cathedra and the whole area will be re-carpeted. All of this is due to be completed in time for the celebration of Christ the King in two weeks time. Everyone on the project has been warned there is no room for a time overrun on the work- it has to be ready for Christ the King Sunday!

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean