We’re all Jock Tamson’s Bairns

I write this letter on 31 January 2020: the clock at the top of my screen is counting down towards 11pm, and the time when the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union.

Inevitably, this week’s media has been full of questions about Brexit and its impact. What is going to change? What will stay the same? What will be different tomorrow? Will we actually notice? Journalists and commentators have been busy all week offering answers to these questions, and many more like them.

One of the stories which caught my eye this week was one which highlighted the very personal impact of the withdrawal on UK members of the European Parliament: closing down their offices in Brussels, packing their bags, saying goodbye to friends and colleagues before climbing aboard the London-bound Eurostar for the last time as working members of the European Parliament. Their journey maps that of our United Kingdom, moving towards a new and different kind of future whose precise shape is yet to be determined.

At the end of the final session of the European Parliament at which UK members were present, many members stood together, linked hands and sang Auld Lang Syne, the Scottish song known best for its use on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the passing year, but also used as a farewell on other occasions when a momentous moment needs to be marked.

I watched as people from many different nations and languages sang together that famous song from my native land. It was a somewhat surreal sight, but seeing that eclectic gathering of peoples and nations and cultures joining hands and singing together reminded me of a lesser-known Scots phrase, which is We’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns; simply another way of saying ‘underneath it all we are all the same’, or ‘we are all God’s children’.

In the period covered by this Chapter Letter we shall keep the feast of Candlemas in the Cathedral. During the feast we will remember and give thanks for Christ’s coming among us as the Light of the World – a light revealed to all the nations and given for the glory of all God’s people.

Our journey into that new and different kind of future has begun. Its precise shape has yet to be determined. But let us never forget that underneath it all, we are all the same; we are all God’s children’; we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns.


Worship & Mission

Sacred Space
Once a month on a Sunday at 6.45pm
This popular service is gentle and reflective with time to wonder and explore, encouraging everyone to use all their senses; it offers a different way to experience worship at Lincoln Cathedral.
The next Sacred Space service takes place on January 19, and the theme is ‘Follow the Star.’
Themes for the coming months are:
February 16 – The Potter and the Clay
March 15 – Walking in the Wilderness
April 19 – Joyful Creation
May 17 – Doubt and Wonder
June 21 – Explore and Grow
July 19 – Community and Connected

Once a month on Saturday at 9am-9.45am
Please note Stillpoint now takes place in the Longland Chantry
Led by Revd Ann Mazur, this is a time of guided silent prayer to be still and aware of the presence of God.

Dates for the coming months:
February 15
March 14
April 18
May 16
June 13
July 11
September 5


LCCA Shrove Tuesday Party
Tickets for Lincoln Cathedral Community Association Shrove Tuesday Supper to be held in the Chapter House on 25th February at 7pm for 7.30 are now available from Committee Members or Cathedral shop. Tickets are priced at £10, which includes a meal and entertainment.

The Lincoln Cathedral Retired Staff and Volunteers Group
The Lincoln Cathedral Retired Staff and Volunteers Group are looking for someone from the Cathedral Community who can help with the running of this informal group. Meetings take place monthly. If you are interested and want to know more get in touch with Ann Martin / Kate Hellen either in person or by leaving your details in the Guides Letter Tray in the Visitor Services office and they will get back to you.

Pilgrimage to Oberammergau
The Acting Dean and the Archdeacon of Lincoln are leading a Pilgrimage to Oberammergau to see the world-famous passion play between 13-20 May next year. Staying in Austria and Germany the pilgrimage will explore this beautiful part of Europe, whilst reflecting on the events that lie at the heart of our faith. The play itself is the most extraordinary experience. There are a few places left. More information is available on the verger’s table in the South Choir Aisle or from the Acting Dean.


Teatime Talks
The Friends will be holding two teatime talks on Tuesdays in February, which will be taking place at the Cathedral Connected premises at 27, Minster Yard.
Tuesday 4 February – ‘The Sandford Trust’
by Judy Jones
The aim of this trust is ‘to celebrate and promote high quality in heritage education.’

Tuesday 18 February – ‘The mysteries surrounding George Elliot’s visit to Gainsborough when writing “The Mill on the Floss,” and celebrates the bi-centenary of her birth, 22nd November 1819.’
by Margaret and John Crompton.

Both talks will undoubtedly be most interesting and stimulating occasions and, as usual, will begin at 3.30pm, preceded by tea, coffee and biscuits.

Passiontide Concert: John Passion
Saturday 28 March 2020, 7pm
Lincoln Cathedral Choir accompanied by Northern Baroque are joined this year by some talented soloists:
Mark Wilde: Evangelist
Jacob Feldman: Christus
This year’s conductor will be Lincoln Cathedral’s Director of Music, Aric Prentice.
John Passion is one of Bach’s most famous pieces of sacred music, telling the Biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Save the date
As always, there are numerous great events planned for 2020. There will be more details to follow, but for now make a note of some of the following dates in your diaries.

  • Jazz Concert – 9 May
  • Cathedrals at Night – 30 May
  • Come and Sing – 6 June
  • Be a Chorister for the Day – 13 June
  • Flower Festival – 29 July – 3 August
  • Museum of the Moon – 12 October – 2 November
  • The Hallé – 23 October
  • Handel’s Messiah – 21 November
  • The Snowman – 12 December
  • Carols by Candlelight – 16 December

Organ Concert Series 2020
Four concerts to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Louis Vierne (1870-1937), organist of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.
All concerts will include music by Vierne and JS Bach.
Saturday 20 June – Jeffrey Makinson
Saturday 11 July – Colin Walsh
Saturday 12 September – Jeffrey Makinson with Soprano, Laurie Ashworth
Saturday 3 October – Jeffrey Makinson, Colin Walsh, Lincoln Cathedral Choir and Aric Prentice

Tickets £8.50 including a drink on arrival.

A screen will display a live view of the organ loft.

Bible Readings

Sunday 2 February
Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas)

Sung Eucharist
Malachi 3: 1-5
Hebrews 2: 14-end
Luke 2: 22-40

Exodus 13: 1-16
Romans 12: 1-5

Haggai 2: 1-9
John 2: 18-22


Sunday 9 February
Third Sunday before Lent

Sung Eucharist
Isaiah 58: 1-9a [9b-12]
1 Corinthians 2: 1-12 [13-end]
Matthew 5: 13-20

Jeremiah 26: 1-16
Acts 3: 1-10

Amos 2: 4-end
Ephesians 4: 17-end


Sunday 16 February
Second Sunday before Lent

Sung Eucharist
Genesis 1: 1-2.3
Romans 8: 18-25
Matthew 6: 25-end

Job 38: 1-21
Colossians 1: 15-20

Proverbs 8: 1, 22-31
Revelation 4