Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 6th October 2019

 As autumn finally takes hold and the colours turn in the landscape around us, we have a week full of colour, commemoration and pageantry here at the Cathedral (and uniforms!).

The Royal Marines Band Service has been coming to the Cathedral for an annual service of glorious music and solemn remembrance since 1998 when the RMBS moved their School of Music to Portsmouth from Deal. This year saw the 30th anniversary of the terrible explosion at Deal on 22nd September which left 11 musicians dead and another 11 injured, so the music played in tribute at Sunday’s service will have a special poignancy.

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Liz Snowball
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 29th September 2019

Reflecting on the saint after whom this cathedral church is named, Thomas Becket or St Thomas of Canterbury, is a humbling experience.  How can we aspire to the holiness and bravery in the face of violent death that led to his speedy canonization? When considering Thomas’s example, there may be a sense, as the saying goes, of ‘Follow that!’   And yet this is exactly what we must do.  Unless you were one of the original twelve, Christian discipleship always involves following on from others.  And while it can be daunting, that sense of ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ is also inspiring.  If cleverer, braver and holier people than us have walked in the footsteps of Jesus, that can help us to appreciate the importance of the journey, and the need for us to do what only we can do (by God’s grace) in this generation

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 22nd September 2019

The word angel comes from the Greek Angelo’s, meaning messenger. Angels play a role in most faith traditions and are believed to be messengers from God. Next Sunday evening is the feast of St Michael and all angels we have the Michaelmas carol service at 6.00pm. Do come along for some heavenly music, readings and reflection.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 15th September 2019

While there can be little doubt that the country is very divided, and people are quick to make judgements about the motivations and integrity of those with whom they disagree, it is incumbent on the Christian community, to maintain relationships and communication, in a positive and generous spirit, with everyone, including those with whom we disagree. There are many people feeling lost and anxious at the moment, and it is in our gift to restrain ourselves from ensuring our view is clearly heard and to give space, time, and the gift of being listened to, to those for whom life is stressful and worrying. We are all lost sinners, and we are found only in repentance and in Christ, as today’s Gospel demonstrates.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 8th September 2019

This summer, having seen a not insignificant birthday, I have spent some time enjoying some adventures as befits this moment. From a few days spent exploring Visby; yet another Scandinavian destination where Kitty is assumed to be a native and I a foreign side-kick. Thence to an Alpine adventure of mountain walking, paddle boarding and cycling as well as time for rest, recharging and relaxing.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 1st September 2019

We are now in a ‘political crisis’. I have resisted the temptation to label the Brexit debate ‘a crisis’, for often the media describe any moment of political challenge ‘a crisis’. Yet, when the sovereign is possibly being drawn into political debate, and the use of constitutional mechanisms are being contested, the term ‘crisis’ has become an appropriate description.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 25th August 2019

Last month I wrote in this space on the theme of saying goodbye, and I am pleased to be able to balance that with something about saying hello! As I said in July, the life of the church has a continuity that does not depend on particular individuals – but it is also the case that every one of us can have a significant impact on the overall ministry and mission of the Cathedral.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Our New Chapter Clerk: Richard Abraham

The Cathedral has appointed Richard Abraham to the post of Chapter Clerk and Chief Operating Officer.   He will begin on Monday 2nd September.   Richard comes to us with a wealth of expertise and experience, most recently having worked for the Diocese in Europe as a Business Improvement Consultant.   The Dean said, ‘I am delighted that Richard is joining the Cathedral team, bringing just the skills and background we need at this point in our history.  There are not too many people with both an impressive record of building successful organisations, and a deep knowledge of Anglicanism, but Richard is one of them.’

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Our New Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean: Kathryn Percival

The Bishop has announced that the Reverend Kathryn Percival has been appointed as Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean.  Kathryn, a former barrister, is currently Vicar of Lingfield and Dormansland, and Area Dean of Tandridge.  She says, ‘I am delighted to be called to join the Cathedral community, and look forward very much to working with the Dean and Chapter in enabling the Cathedral to grow and flourish as an embodiment of the grace and generosity of Christ for the parish, the City, and the Diocese.’   The Dean says, ‘Kathryn is an outstanding priest who will be a huge asset to the ministry and mission of Cathedral.   I am delighted at the prospect of all she will bring to the life of the Cathedral, not least in leading its work in learning and teaching, and in congregational discipleship and growth.’

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 18th August 2019

There are only a few days left to have a final look at the imposing ‘Soup of Souls’ artwork by Pete Codling in the Nave. These images have drawn in a number of people and have influenced the atmosphere and the impact that the Cathedral has had for many visitors and worshippers as they arrive, through the changing liturgical seasons they have been with us for over the past six months. The Nave will feel very different at first once they go.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 11th August 2019

It may seem paradoxical to claim that beauty is one of the most neglected features of our age because we are surrounded by so many images, both on paper and in electronic form that tell us what is fashionable and what it is for something to look ‘right’. Yet most of this presentation in the media has no depth, meaning or purpose to it: most of the images reflect trends that our society could reverse overnight if they were regarded as no longer cutting edge. Most of the images, if not actually harmful in promoting a certain view of the human body, are nearly always presented to sell products and make money: they do not point beyond themselves to a deeper truth and goodness.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 4th August

I once said hello to Bill Nighy on Jermyn Street. I recognised his face, but realised too late that I didn’t actually know him. To his credit he smiled back and said hello. This must happen to him all the time. With the radio there is a little more anonymity, but some voices are immediately recognisable, such as Moira Stewart, Linda Snell from The Archer’s, or our own Angela Tilby leading the daily service.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 28th July 2019

The Bible, and especially the Psalms, sometimes uses the image of storm and heat for God. Psalm 18 talks about God ‘flying on the wings of the storm’ to rescue us, with lightning bursting from the ‘brightness of his presence.’ The prophets speak of God as being like a refiner’s fire or sun of righteousness.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 21st July 2019

I’ve just celebrated a significant birthday.  My mother complained that as she was going into labour, and after giving birth, no one was interested in her or me. It was the greatest achievement in her life - I was late and it was a difficult birth - yet it paled into insignificance with the small step for man and giant leap for mankind.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 14th July 2019

The parable of the Good Samaritan is so over-used, even in a relatively secular society, that it is often very difficult to get beyond our familiarity with it and see its message afresh.

When asked to imagine ourselves in the position of the Samaritan, we often think of the scene in the following way: a poor person is sitting at the side of the road, bleeding after having been attacked. Of course we would help any such person, we tell ourselves. Yet we should ask ourselves what that person by the side of the road looks like. I think it is quite likely that he or she is someone we regard as respectable or acceptable, someone who looks quite similar to ourselves, someone we want to help because we can see them as an obviously innocent victim whose situation is in no way their fault.

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 7th July 2019

We have reached the time of year when we are saying a number of goodbyes, from choir members to our outgoing Chapter Clerk, Peter Sanders. Such occasions are poignant and an occasion for grateful thanksgiving – but also for reflection on how the life of the church has a continuity that does not depend on particular individuals. After the summer holidays our choirs will be back with new members, and if all goes well next Thursday we will be begin the process of appointing a successor to Peter. I write this in the knowledge that it has recently been announced who is taking on the role I left to come to Portsmouth!

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 30th June 2019

Last Sunday evening in his sermon ‘Understanding vulnerability: a path to personal and spiritual growth’, Dr Kevin O’Shea, Consultant Psychiatrist, talked about how vulnerability is the essence of the incarnation, God becoming human in the form of Jesus.  Dr O’Shea also noted that it was the essence of charity and community. I have been thinking about this a lot over this past week and wondered if today’s highlights could explore these ideas a bit more. 

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Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral Notices Sunday 16th June 2019

Trinity Sunday marks the moment when the Church moves into ordinary time as the great 50 days of Easter has come to an end. It is the day when all preachers try to explain the inexplicable. Justo Gonzalez, a prominent Hispanic theologian once said, "Trinity is a mystery, not a puzzle. You try to solve the puzzle, you stand in awe before a mystery." The world could do with more standing in awe than sniping from side-lines.

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Portsmouth Cathedral