Cathedrals: built to the glory of God yet speaking of the ordinary and the every day. They are steeped in history and tradition but are home to modern vibrant communities. Enjoyed as wonderful civic and cultural venues , they are also places of sublime worship.
Cathedrals are places where all can find a welcome; people of all faiths, of no faith and uncertain faith. Some come seeking heritage and to explore local and national identity, some to enjoy the sheer beauty of their architecture. For others they are the focus of classic Anglican worship and the riches of the choral tradition, with a rhythm and regularity of worship that speaks of reliability and stability. Stones soaked in prayer offering a thin place for those who come seeking.
What ever draws people in: a place to shelter from the rain, the lure of a warming coffee and enticing cake, wanting somewhere to sit down (or to use the loo), an opportunity to reflect on unanswerable questions, a place to be still amidst a busy day, space in which to think when life has become confusing, seeking someone to listen, the simple powerful act of lighting a candle, time to offer a heartfelt prayer, letting the music wrap your mind and soul in another reality – cathedrals are spaces where all of life can find a home.
And of course, all too human, so a place where mistakes are made. This is the Church of England, seeking (and sometimes failing) to be there for people, offering support, encouragement, friendship – and pointing beyond itself to something deeper and more profound. No pre-conditions, no membership requirements – all our welcome.