…putting our question ‘What will you do, to help St Hugh?’ the other way round.
This question is the one we are asking of businesses and schools for our for our Fundraising Day on 25 May
Putting this question the other way round, What Can St Hugh Do for You?, at least one answer I can see from my window: this truly astonishing building. It is all too easy to take it for granted; we shouldn’t. I shouldn’t. What John Ruskin said was surely true:
‘I have always held and proposed against all comers to maintain that the Cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles’ –
It is this building that has over centuries attracted people to our city and it continues to do so to this day.
That was St Hugh, what of the Cathedral today? What does it do for you?
Much of the answer brings us back to St Hugh, since it is about the space he and his successors created.
- We communicate its attraction through the social media and elsewhere to really put our weight behind the Visit Lincoln push to grow the City’s visitor economy.
- We make it available to be used for concerts, for lectures, for exhibitions, for seminars and entertainment. We do charge, but only to cover our costs, and it does cost £8,000 each and every day.
- We hold a very large number of special services and events of all kinds. In these, and in other ways, Lincoln Cathedral plays a full part at the local, regional, national and international levels.
- We offer tours to our visitors, and for groups and businesses who wish to book them, we offer special tours to visit those hidden parts of the building that are so steeped in history.
- We are happy for visitors to photograph the building, although, if for commercial purposes, we do seek a contribution to our costs, as we do from the many TV companies who film here.
- We are a showcase for Lincolnshire. In October we are planning a celebration of Lincolnshire Food and Farming, and in 2103 we plan to hold a similar event to celebrate Lincolnshire Engineering.
- We provide apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people seeking careers in the traditional craft skills of mason, carpenter, leadworker and glazier.
- We provide scholarships for choir children and for older musicians through our choral scholarship scheme.
None of this would be possible without the support of many volunteers and staff who go far beyond the call of duty.
It is important though not to forget the purpose for which the Cathedral was built and which it serves to this day. Lincoln Cathedral is first and foremost a church, a living community working in surroundings of great importance and beauty. It is a holy place accessible to all. The primary purpose continues to be, as it always has been and will be, the Opus Dei: the daily round of prayer and worship of Almighty God from which all other activities draw their inspiration. Each week the Cathedral puts on 35 or more services.
In relation to this central task, we are asking our visitors this summer to ask a question of God.
We are investigating the feasibility of developing a new style of service based on people’s burning questions: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Visit the Fresh Expressions page to find out more.
Finally, and we believe importantly, we do each day pray for the world around us and those who live in it.