The Cathedral and the Ruins are now closed to the public until further notice. All services and events at the Cathedral are cancelled.
Why keep Lent at all?
Lent, the 40 days leading to Easter, is traditionally a period when Christians are invited to take time to strengthen and deepen our relationship with God, through a blend of prayer, simple living, and study. John Chrysostom said “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others.
So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great”. This is a particular challenge if we think that Lent is mostly about reading a Lent book or giving up a glass of wine at the end of a long day.
The way we keep Lent should make a difference for others too – but ceaseless activism is not the key building our relationship with God either. It follows, then, that a good starting point would be to ask God to help you discern how best to use this time in which your relationship with God is your priority.
Lent is both private – for it focusses on the spring-cleaning of your soul – and corporate, for, as the Ash Wednesday liturgy reminds us, it is the season when together we learn to be God’s people once again. May we commend to you a Lenten programme that makes space for both dimensions? If as clergy we can help and support you through this holy season, please do speak to one of us.
Pray with us
You would be so welcome to join us to pray the Daily Office through Lent (and beyond). Morning Prayer is offered at 8.30 and Evening Prayer/Evensong at 5.15 Monday to Friday, while the Litany of Reconciliation is prayed at noon Monday to Saturday.
Read a book
Saying Yes to Life – Ruth Valerio. The Archbishop’s Lent book 2020. As people made in the image of God, we are entrusted to look after what God has made. Ruth Valerio imaginatively relates the themes of the Creation story to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern to explore what it means to be human.
Walking Humbly – Sam Wells. Encouragements for living, working and being.
The Rule of St Benedict – Rowan Williams. ‘An invitation to look at various current questions through the lens of the Rule and to reflect on aspects of Benedictine history that might have something to say to us’.
My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul – Mark Oakley. A poem for every day in Lent, with a 2-page commentary on each of the 40 included.
Cathedral Lent Course
Difference – the Power of Faith in a Conflicted World
“Reconciliation is not the ending of all difference, but the transformation of how we deal with difference” (Archbishop Justin Welby)
Created by the Archbishop’s Reconciliation Ministry team, Difference is a five session course that explores what it means to follow Jesus in the face of conflict and see transformation through everyday encounters. Through film, Bible reading, interactive exercises, prayer and discussion the course explores God’s Call; Crossing Divides; Disagreeing Well; Practising Forgiveness & Courage as Community. We have been asked to pilot this as a diocese for the wider Church of England, and engaged in a national training programme to deliver the course here at the Cathedral.
Our course will run on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 pm in St Michael’s House. As workbooks are provided, please let Canon Kathryn know if you plan to attend. This course is suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. We hope to run it again in the autumn.
In addition to our regular pattern of Sunday and weekday services, the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday will take place at 12 noon and at 7.30 pm on February 26th.
Please click here to access the live-stream service on the Cathedral’s Facebook page.
During Holy Week, in addition to live-streaming Morning Prayer & Holy Communion at 9.15 am and the Litany of Reconciliation at 12 noon, we will also be live-streaming Compline with Address given by the Reverend Charlotte Gale at 7.30 pm each evening.
The Cathedral’s Facebook page will also host A Service for the Renewal of Ministerial Vows with the Eucharist (in place of normal Chrism Eucharist) at 10.30 am on Maundy Thursday, with the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday taking place from 7.30 pm.
The Liturgy of Good Friday will be live-streamed at 9.15 am on April 10th and be led by the Bishop from his Chapel. A Good Friday Devotional Service will be live-streamed at 2.45 pm.
Easter Sunday’s Dawn Service will come from the Garden at Bishop’s House at 6.00 am, with the Cathedral Eucharist following a little later at 9.15 am.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
Though we know that God forgives us whenever we turn to him in penitence and faith, it is sometimes helpful to engage with a more intensive process of self-examination and to hear God’s forgiveness spoken aloud, knowing own specific failures have been forgiven. In a place where reconciliation is integral to all that we do, it makes sense to enjoy the full riches of the sacraments that Christ has entrusted to his Church. There will be a priest ready to hear confessions in the Millennium Chapel on Ash Wednesday
and on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, from 6 pm to 7 pm or at other times by appointment with Canon Kathryn (02476 521230).