I write this Chapter letter in mid-September, in the same week as the recent prorogation of Parliament. It seems important to be specific about that, because events in the life of our nation have been changing almost daily and may well continue to do so.

It’s quite likely that anyone who commits their thoughts to paper, as I am doing now, will find themselves behind the curve and out of date almost before the ink is dry.

During the past week we have all witnessed unprecedented scenes in living memory unfold in the Houses of Parliament. We have seen MPs mounting a protest in the House of Commons; we have heard appeal court judges in Scotland declare that the prime minister’s decision to prorogue parliament was unlawful; we heard Lord Brodie, one of the appeal judges, describe the prorogation as ‘a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities’.

Many long serving and experienced parliamentarians are on record expressing concern at the turn of events we have all been witnessing. Dame Caroline Spelman MP, the Second Estates Commissioner of the Church of England described by the Archbishop of Canterbury as ‘an extraordinary public servant’, is among those stepping down as an MP from the next election. Death threats were a factor in her decision to do so.

There are clear and worrying signs that the fissures which have opened in the life of our nation in the last three years remain as deep as ever, and that that the words Lord Brodie applied to the government’s actions are equally applicable more widely. Bishops in the House of Lords have been speaking there about rancour in our society, and the surfacing of deep divisions. What were once generally accepted standards of behaviour in our public life seem increasingly under threat, with elected representatives living in fear of their lives simply for doing their job.

It goes without saying that Brexit remains a crucial issue to be resolved. But perhaps the bigger question to which it has given rise is asking us about the kind of people and nation we understand and want ourselves to be. There is no doubt that there are deep divisions in our society, but perhaps one of the positive legacies of a difficult three years will be the realisation that the things which divide the peoples of these lands go beyond this one issue. These divisions go beyond party politics. There are divisions in our country between younger and older generations, between rural and urban communities, between the North and the South, between the rich and the poor.

The church, with its role in government, in national life and in the life of our communities, has an incredibly privileged position in our society. I hope and pray that we will have the vision and the courage to play our part in the sorely needed healing of this nation, so that all people are enabled to flourish as children of God, and to enjoy the fullness of life for which He created them.

SAL MCDOUGALL, PRECENTOR

Worship & Mission

Compline
We will be holding a service of Compline on Monday 16 September at 9pm. We look forward to welcoming you to this calm service to end the day.

Spiritual Classics Reading Group
Saturday 28 September, 10.30am
The Precentory, 12 Eastgate LN2 1QG
This is an open group in which members read a book prior to the meeting and discuss it together.
This month the book is Awareness by Anthony de Mello

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.
Dates and themes for the coming months are:
September 22 – Abundant Grace
October 27 – Saints and Sinners
November 24 – Kingdom
December 15 – Light in the Darkness

Community

Harnosand
The Subdean is away the weekend of 20/21 September in Harnosand. John and Jo will be accompanying Bishop David and his wife Anne to our Link Diocese in Sweden. This is a long standing link with the Lutheran Diocese of Harnosand and they shall be joining in the Diocese’s “Stiltsfest” – a Diocesan conference for volunteers, board members, priests and deacons from across the 36 parishes of the Diocese. Our ecumenical work tries to live out our Lord’s prayer “that we many be one” and hopes to show to a broken world a model of working together amidst diversity.

Lincoln Cathedral Community Association
Lincoln Cathedral Community Association Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 7 October in The Cathedral Centre at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Nomination forms for election of Lay Vice Chair; Deanery Synod Representatives and Committee Members are now available from the Executive Committee Secretary Mrs June Pallister or the Chapter Office. After the business meeting Rachel Baxter – Community Engagement Officer for the YMCA will give a brief update of work going on with Nomad Trust and YMCA

Lincoln Cathedral Community Association Harvest Supper will take place in the Chapter House on Wednesday 16 October at 7pm. Tickets are now available from Committee Members priced at £10 each.

Lincoln Pride
Saturday 28 September
If you are interested in joining the Lincoln Churches Group who are taking part in this year’s Lincoln Pride walk please speak to the Precentor who will be happy to provide further details.

Illustrated talk on Sir John Betjeman
Thursday 10th October, 10.30am
A lecture by The Rev. Clifford Knowles at The cathedral Centre. The event is hosted by the Lincoln Cathedral Retired Staff and Volunteers Group. A perfect opportunity to meet former colleagues and make new friends. Annual Membership Fee £5, guests very welcome £2.

Lydia South
We are delighted to share the news that Cope Girl Lydia South, age 13, is through to the finals of the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2019! We are very proud and look forward to the finals on 19 October.

Events

Organ Concert Series 2019
Saturday 21 September, 7pm, Charles Harrison
Friday 4 October, 7pm, Organ Extravaganza
Sunday 22 December, 5.30pm, La Nativité du Seigneur

The Hallé
Friday 27 September
The Hallé returns to Lincoln Cathedral for its popular and highly acclaimed annual concert.
The Cathedral is delighted to announce the return of Sir Mark Elder CH CBE, as the conductor for this year’s performance. The Hallé will be joined by Colin Walsh for a rendition of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No.3 in C minor.
Ticket prices start from £12.

Tristram Hunt Lecture: Prince Albert’s great Legacy
Thursday 10 October
Historian, journalist and former politician Tristram Hunt, became director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2017.
The V&A is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Lunchtime Concert
Saturday 19 October, 1pm
Students from Lincoln University will be playing under the direction of Mark Wilde and Ed Wellman. Entrance to the Concert is free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of Murdered Abroad (Registered Charity No 1111724), a charity which supports the families and friends of victims of murder and manslaughter abroad.

Handel’s Messiah
Saturday 23 November
We welcome you once again to our popular annual performance of Handel’s Messiah performed by the Choir of Lincoln Cathedral and the Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra, conducted by our Director of Music, Aric Prentice.
Tickets will be available soon.

A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten
Saturday 14 December 2pm and 7pm
Performed by the Lincoln Cathedral Choristers and harpist Louise Thomson
Join us on for two performances of this classic, festive favourite, in the stunning Cathedral Chapter House.
Prices:
2pm performance £11, £5 for children under 14
7pm performance £27 including wine, canapés and a lantern-light tour of the Cathedral.
Tickets will be on sale soon, available from www.lincolncathedral.com, by calling 01522 561658 or from the Cathedral Shop.

Wallace and Gromit In Concert; The Wrong Trousers
Saturday 4 January
Audiences will be treated to five showings of the film on a big screen in the Nave, and the 30-piece chamber orchestra will bring the soundtrack to life in spectacular fashion.

Bible Readings

Sunday 15 September
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Sung Eucharist
Exodus 32: 7-14
I Timothy 1: 12-17
Luke 15: 1-10

Mattins
Isaiah 44:24-45.8
Revelation 12: 1-12

Evensong
Isaiah 60
John 6: 51-69

Sunday 22 September
Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Sung Eucharist
Amos 8: 4-7
1 Timothy 2: 1-7
Luke 16: 1-13

Mattins
Isaiah 45: 9-22
Revelation 14: 1-5

Evensong
Ezra 1
John 7: 14-36

Sunday 29 September
Michael and All Angels

Sung Eucharist
Revelation 12: 7-12
Hebrews 1: 5-end
John 1: 47-end

Mattins
Daniel 12: 1-4
Acts 12: 1-11

Evensong
Daniel 10: 4-end
Revelation 5