On the Common Good

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen; give wisdom to all in authority;
and direct this and every nation in the ways of justice and of peace;
that we may honour one another, and seek the common good.
From Common Worship (2000: p.281)

This bidding above, from a form of intercessions in Common Worship, has an established history of use in earlier prayer books (Alternative Service, Second Series (1966: p.4); Third Series (1971: p.15; 1973: p.11); Alternative Service Book, Rite A (1980: p.125, #21)). But the reference to the Common Good is ancient, found in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. For Aristotle, the good life involved living well together; a society in which citizens were living virtuously and were flourishing together.

In early Christian writings, references to the common good have the intended meaning of shared advantage and mutual benefit (1 Corinthians 12:7, Epistle of Barnabas 4.10). But later Christian writers, like Augustine of Hippo (d.430) and Thomas Aquinas (d.1274), drew on that ancient understanding of the good life of society, while affirming the social nature and interdependence of all persons.

The common good for Christianity refers to the well-being of society, and wider global community, in which all members may flourish as persons, i.e., as relational beings. This involves fulfilling everyone’s material needs (of sustenance, shelter, security), but also our social and environmental needs as persons (such as loving relationships; dignity and a say in decisions that affect us; peace and justice; purpose and fulfilment; and the enjoyment and appreciation of cultural life and the natural world). We cannot flourish in a context of civil unrest and political conflict, but society cannot flourish without the wellbeing of all its members. The common good entails an integral ecology that is attentive to the cry of earth and the cry of the poor.

Between 2010 and 2015, the common good was a quinquennial goal of the Church of England, so shaping the engagement of the church and its members in civic and political life. But this social mission continues.

Lincoln Cathedral has long been involved in civic life and engaged with public issues. We will continue to do so, under the banner of ‘Lincoln Cathedral Common Good Project’. A series of keynote lectures, to which I hope many will come, will help to shape our social engagement by exploring Anglican Social Theology and Catholic Social Teaching. The first lecture is on 7th June – “Just Responsibility?” – How can social theology help us play our part in spiritual and civic renewal? Following Choral Evensong, in St Hugh’s Choir, it will be an introductory lecture exploring the purpose of the series, by Jenny Sinclair, director of ‘Together for the Common Good’.


Worship & Mission

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

Special services during Eastertide
Sat 14 May: St Mathias
12.30pm – Sung Eucharist, BCP (Choral Scholars)
5.30pm – Solemn Evensong (Lay Vicars and Youth Choir)

Thurs 26 May: Ascension Day
7am – Early morning Eucharist, followed by breakfast
5.30pm Solemn Evensong (Choristers and Lay Vicars)
Celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Feast of Pentecost

Thurs 2 June: Official Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II
5.30pm Choral Evensong (Choir of Melbourne Parish Church)

Sunday 5 June: Pentecost
10.30am – Festal Eucharist (Choristers and Lay Vicars)
3.45pm – Festal Evensong to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (Choristers and Lay Vicars)

Meets next on Monday 13 June at 8.40am.
Future dates:, 11 July, 15 August

Sacred Space
Sunday 22 May, 7pm
Sacred Space is a gentle and reflective service with time to wonder, the opportunity to use all your senses to explore faith and the chance to experience the unique and serene atmosphere of the Cathedral as the day draws to a close. It is led by the Revd Canon David Dadswell.


Community Association Outing
An outing to Sempringham has been arranged for Saturday 18 June to launch the Journeys of Faith guidebook: A Pilgrimage from Sempringham to Lincoln. It will include a short talk and tour of the church, picnic lunch in the grounds (inside if wet), music and optional walks to follow. Limited transport is available. To put your name down, please email lcca@lincolncathedral.com or speak to Simon Crookall or Andrea Paterson  (07742526860) after a service. Numbers are needed by Monday 6 June. All are welcome.

Social Theology and the Common Good
Lincoln Cathedral is hosting a lecture series, organised in partnership with Together for the Common Good, Caritas in the Diocese of Nottingham, Bishop Grosseteste University, and Lincoln Theology Network. The first lecture is on 7 June – “Just Responsibility?”  by Jenny Sinclair. The lecture will be in St Hugh’s Choir at 6.30pm, following choral evensong at 5.30pm. Tickets costing £5, are available from the Cathedral website, or can be paid for at the event by cash or by using the donation points.

There will also be small groups in November and December, information about which will follow.

Everyday Faith
Everyday faith is an initiative of the Church of England, providing digital resources for finding and following God in everyday life, to support and encourage our Christian faith and discipleship. Please register to explore resources of the portal at


Sustaining God’s Creation: Eco-Churches Zoom Event
In 2020, General Synod set a target of net zero carbon for the Church of England. Meeting this target requires all of us involved in churches to think imaginatively about our worship and teaching, buildings, land, community and global engagement and our lifestyles.

On Saturday 18 June, 10am-1pm, the six Cathedrals of East Anglia (Chelmsford, Ely, Norwich, Peterborough, St Albans and St Edmundsbury) are hosting a free online event with speakers from A Rocha, Caring for God’s Acre, Christian Aid and Climate Stewards. Full details and registration at www.sustaininggodscreation.org

Cathedral Community Book Group
The Chancellor is hosting a Cathedral Community Book Group for members of the congregations, looking at issues of Christian theology, life and spirituality. Meetings will be on alternate months, usually at 10.30-11.30 on Saturday mornings in the Wickham Reading Room. You are invited to any meeting to discuss a book, without further commitment, but please buy and read the book, in advance of the meeting – both are available from the Cathedral Shop
16 July, Being Human, by Rowan Williams (SPCK 2018)
10 September, Like there’s no Tomorrow, by Frances Ward (Sacristy Press 2020)

Summer Bible Study – 1 Peter
The Chancellor is leading a bible study on 1 Peter in the Wednesdays of August at 4pm-5pm in the Wickham Reading Room. This will be using a Lambeth study guide, ‘The First Letter of Peter: A Global Commentary’ by Jennifer Strawbridge, which is published by SCM and is for sale at £14.99 per copy in the cathedral bookshop. We shall meet in the Wickham Reading Room.

The Big Lunch
Sunday 5 June, 12noon
To celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee, we invite you to come and join us on the Dean’s Green to enjoy a picnic and musical entertainment from Sounds Easy Big Band. All are welcome and entry is free. You can bring your own picnic, or buy one from the Cathedral Café. This will be followed by Festal Evensong for Pentecost sung by the choristers and lay vicars at 3.45pm


The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Monday 23 May – Saturday 4 June
The Starring Lincoln Theatre Company return to Lincoln cathedral with a performance of the well-known Disney adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival: Vision
Thursday 4 – Monday 8 August
The Lincoln Cathedral Flower Festival will celebrate 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.

Flower Festival Musical Meander
Friday 5 August
Enjoy a feast for all the senses with the Lincoln Flower Festival Musical Meander – a magical musical accompaniment to the beautiful floral displays in the inspiring surroundings of Lincoln Cathedral.

For full details of events, and to book tickets, please visit https://lincolncathedral.com/forthcoming-events/

Bible Readings

Sunday 15 May
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 11. 1-18
Revelation 21. 1-6

Evening Prayer
Daniel 6. [1-5], 6-23
Mark 15. 46-16. 8


Sunday 22 May
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 16. 9-15
Revelation 21. 10, 22—22. 5
John 14. 23-29

Evening Prayer
Zephaniah 3. 14-end
Matthew 28. 1-10, 16-end


Sunday 29 May
Seventh Sunday of Easter

Acts 16. 16-34
Revelation 22. 12-14, 16-17, 20-end
John 177. 20-end

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 44. 1-8
Ephesians 4.7-16