It may only be the beginning of January, but Christmas seems a long way behind us; I would guess that many people have long ago packed away the decorations and taken down the cards. Possibly because Christmas seems to start so early – some would say around mid-October! – there can be a wish to finish the celebrations as soon as Boxing Day is over and return to whatever we think of as normality.

The Christian calendar, on the other hand, asks us to continue to contemplate and celebrate the mystery of Jesus’ birth and incarnation for a while longer. Partly this is because its significance is such that it cannot easily be passed over as the days go by and the year unfolds around us. One of the greatest meanings of the incarnation is the hope it offers of a new beginning; that things won’t simply go on as they always have and that, in God’s good time, something better awaits us.

I’m sure it won’t have passed many people by that mid-January is often seen to be the low point in people’s lives and a time when they often report feelings of depression and a general sense of unease. While some of these reports may be exaggerated, there is still a real possibility that a combination of long, dark nights, short hours of daylight, cold weather, perhaps the realisation that we’ve over-spent on our Christmas celebrations and that spring still seems a long way off does seem enough to daunt even the most optimistic person.

The hope which Christmas celebrates isn’t, of course, a “quick fix”, a simple antidote to mid-January gloom; but perhaps it does remind us that there are greater possibilities for us and for humanity as a whole than we might have imagined. Things don’t have to simply go on as they always have; there may be other ways of living, other futures for us and for those we care about. Perhaps too, hope can overcome despair; perhaps love is more powerful than hatred; perhaps things we hoped for really are possible.

This is my final contribution to these Chapter Letters, since I retire at the end of the month. My thanks to you all for your welcome and friendship and I hope what I have written over these recent months has been of help to you.

NEIL BURGESS, VICE-CHANCELLOR

Worship & Mission

Weekly service schedule
The service sheet for the coming fortnight can be viewed on the cathedral website (click link to visit)

Stillpoint
9am, Friday 21 January 2022
Stillpoint is led by Revd Ann Mazur and takes place once a month in the Ringers’ Chapel in Lincoln Cathedral.
It is a time of guided silent prayer to be still and aware of the presence of God. All are welcome to join us.

Future dates for Stillpoint are:
Friday 18 February 2022
Friday 18 March 2022

Forthcoming services

Epiphany Carol Service
Sunday 16 January 2022 at 3.45pm
Music and readings for the Epiphany Season
Music sung by the Choristers and Lay Vicars of the Cathedral Choir

Solemn Evensong for the Conversion of Paul, and Annual Legal Service
Tuesday 25th January 2022 at 5.30pm
Music sung by the Choristers and Lay Vicars of the Cathedral Choir

Festal Evensong for the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas)
Wednesday 2nd February 2022 at 5.30pm
Music sung by Lincoln Cathedral Consort

Solemn Evensong for Ash Wednesday
Wednesday 2nd March 2022 at 4pm
Music sung by the Choristers and Lay Vicars of the Cathedral Choir
It is planned that this service will  be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and members of the congregation are asked to be in their places by 3.45pm at the latest.

Sung Eucharist for Ash Wednesday
Wednesday 2nd March 2022 at 7.30pm
Music sung by Lincoln Cathedral Consort

Community

Volunteer Vergers
Join a small group of volunteers supporting the vergers team, by preparing and facilitating services both large and small, helping to prepare for all sacred and secular events and providing initial pastoral care to worshippers and visitors. Be a representative of the Cathedral and the Church of England to the public.

If you are interested in joining the Vergers Team as a volunteer please contact the Dean’s Verger Ian Taylor for an informal chat – 01522 561638 or ian.taylor@lincolncathedral.com

 Adult baptism and confirmation classes
If you are an adult and interested exploring the Christian faith with a view to being baptised or confirmed at Easter, please contact the Chancellor, Paul Overend, on chancellor@lincolncathedral.com. He and The Revd Dr Julia Hepburn (the Assistant Curate of The Parish of St Mary Magdalene, Lincoln, and a regular duty chaplain at the cathedral) will be holding joint adult baptism and confirmation classes from the last week in January, 2022, using a course called “Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey”.

Events

Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon
7 – 27 February
Come and experience the majesty of the moon, suspended beneath the central tower of Lincoln Cathedral.
The Cathedral will provide a spectacular backdrop for the stunning installation which measures seven metres in diameter and features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

An evening with Helen Sharman CMG OBE, the first British person in space
Friday 18 February, 7.30pm
Helen Sharman became the first British Astronaut in May 1991, aged 27, when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. She spent 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the Mir Space Station.

A pioneer, role model and inspirational speaker, Helen will host an unforgettable evening beneath Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon in the Nave of Lincoln Cathedral as she takes us on a journey through her experiences – from recruitment and training through to the time she spent in space and her return to Earth.

Secret Symphony presents: Interstellar
Saturday 26 February, 7.30pm
Secret Symphony’s 50-Piece Limelight Orchestra return to the most wonderful Lincoln Cathedral to perform an exclusive and enhanced ‘one night only’ show celebrating all things space, stars and Interstellar under Luke Jerram’s ‘The Museum Of The Moon’.

A reimagined soundtrack that includes such ‘stellar’ tracks from David Bowie, Coldplay, Muse, Public Service Broadcasting, ELO, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jamiroquai, Daft Punk, Elton John and many, many more.

The Starring Lincoln Theatre Company present The Hunchback of Notre Dame
23 May – 4 June
Following spectacular sell-out performances of Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll & Hyde and Oliver!, The Starring Lincoln Theatre Company return with a performance of the well-known Disney adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The production is sure to be a fantastic show. Previous shows received rave reviews and we expect the 2022 production to be no different.

To avoid disappointment, please be sure to book your tickets as soon as you can – we expect them to sell out fast!

Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival: Vision
4 – 8 August
The Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival will take place in August 2022 celebrating 950 years of Lincoln Cathedral, and the visionaries who had the inspiration to build such a wonderful building and those who followed, changing our lives throughout history.

Stunning displays will blossom in every area of the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral, bringing it to life in a unique and inspiring way.

The festival will celebrate the life and works of St Hugh of Lincoln, as well as many other notable visionaries whose ideas and actions have shaped the world we live in and changed our lives.

For more events, extra details and to book tickets, please visit our website – www.lincolncathedral.com

Bible Readings

Sunday 9 January
Baptism of Christ

Eucharist
Isaiah 43: 1-7
Acts 8: 14-17
Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 55: 1-11
Romans 6: 1-11

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Sunday 16 January
Second Sunday of Epiphany

Eucharist
Isaiah 62: 1-5
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2: 1-11

Evening Prayer
1 Samuel 3: 1-20
Ephesians 4: 1-16

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Sunday 23 January
Third Sunday of Epiphany

Eucharist
Nehemiah 8: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10
1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a
Luke 4: 14-21

Evening Prayer
Numbers 9: 15-end
1 Corinthians 7: 17-24

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