There’s an old saying that “a volunteer is worth ten pressed men”, which says something about the value of those who offer their skills, time and energies voluntarily. As a life-long volunteer of various sorts, including thirty-plus years in voluntary ordained ministry and more recently also a volunteer on a heritage steam railway* I can claim some insight into just how important is the contribution which volunteers make to the life of our society.

It is estimated that there are around 160,000 voluntary organisations in Britain, most of which rely heavily on volunteers to enable them to function; and that the voluntary sector is worth around £18 billion to the British economy. But these figures account for only a part of the value of volunteering, which provides all kinds of services to communities, including foodbanks, charities, local transport, social, educational and cultural organisations, often helping disadvantaged or vulnerable people. Without voluntary organisations, many communities would be much the poorer, not just in terms of facilities and services, but in opportunities for people to come together in a common endeavour.

One of the changes in the churches which has come about in the decades of my own ministry is their increased reliance on volunteers of all sorts. In this diocese there are many more voluntary ministers, including Readers and those having the bishop’s authorisation, than there are full-time stipendiary clergy. This doesn’t include the hundreds of people who give their time freely to the church and its activities and who aren’t classified as “ministers”; and nor does it include the six hundred or so volunteers here at the Cathedral. The success of the sustainable future for the diocese which is presently being discussed will rely heavily on the involvement and commitment of volunteers.

It is also widely recognised that there are all kinds of personal and communal benefits from being a volunteer. People are brought together with a common purpose, given a chance to use existing skills and abilities and to learn new ones, and given a sense of making a contribution to the community. Indeed many volunteers speak of their work in terms of “making a difference” or “giving something back”; feeling that they can give as well as receive. In this way, volunteering is an expression of altruism, or generosity, which lies at the heart of all the world’s great religions; and it is no surprise that many people of faith are moved to become volunteers as part of their service to God and their neighbour.

So it’s good to give some thought to the contribution which volunteers make to the lives of so many people and to the communities in which we live. Long may their efforts continue.


* The Talyllyn Railway in Merionydd, north-west Wales

Worship & Mission

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

Farewell Service for Bishop Christopher
The Cathedral’s service of Choral Evensong on the Feast of Christ the King, 3.45pm Sunday 21 November, will mark Bishop Christopher’s farewell to the diocese of Lincoln.

The service will be an open-to-all service, but it would help planning to have some indication of how many people to accommodate.  Please could those intending to attend contact Theresa Moses, Theresa Moses, Executive/Finance Assistant to the Bishop of Lincoln, on or 01522 422019.

Special services in the coming weeks

A County Harvest Festival
3pm, Sunday 24 October

Requiem Eucharist for All Souls
7.30pm, Tuesday 2 November
An opportunity to remember those we love but see no longer. This year it is also a special opportunity for those who have suffered loss during the recent difficult times.

If you would like to submit a name to be included in the service, please email the details to by Thursday 28 October.

Remembrance Sunday: Service of Remembrance
10.40am, Sunday 14 November
Our annual remembrance of those who have given their lives or suffered in the course of human conflict.

Please note: Sung Eucharist will take place at the earlier time of 9.15am.

Advent Carol Service
6pm, Saturday 27 November

Readings and music as we prepare to welcome the light of the world, with music sung by the Cathedral Youth Choir with the Lay Vicars of the cathedral choir.


Save the Date for St Hugh’s Day on Wednesday 17 November 2021.
This year as part of our celebration of St Hugh’s Day there will be a keynote address in the morning starting at 10am in St Hugh’s Choir to which we are extending a welcome to readers, clergy, ordinands, students and congregations across the diocese.

The session will focus on Implicit theology and implicit religion and will be introduced by the Revd Canon Paul Overend, following which Professor Martyn Percy will make the keynote address.

We look forward to welcoming Dr Francis Stewart, the Implicit Religion Research Fellow at The Edward Bailey Centre for the Study of Implicit Religion at Bishop Grosseteste University along with some of her students.

St Hugh’s Day Eucharist will follow at 12pm with St Hugh’s Day Evensong at 5.30pm.

Harvest giving – supporting our Foodbanks
The County Harvest Service will take place at 3pm on Sunday 24th October.  In advance of that there will be a chest for people to make contributions to the work of our local foodbanks at the back of the Nave.  Please do consider what you can give to support the valuable work that takes place in our local communities in serving those in immediate need.

Welcome to our new Dean’s Verger
We’d like to take this opportunity to officially welcome our new Dean’s Verger, Ian Taylor. We’re sure many of you will already have had the opportunity to meet and chat with Ian, who joined us at the start of September.

Prior to joining the Lincoln team Ian was a verger at Ely Cathedral for over 2 years following a 20 year career in the army. As a Lay Reader, Ian is fully committed to the Anglican traditions and has served as a Churchwarden and Synod Representative.

Ian say, “I believe that being a verger is not just a job but an important ministry in the church”

We are delighted that Ian has joined the Cathedral team, he has a huge amount of experience and we hope that you will join us in welcoming him to the Cathedral.

Lincoln Cathedral Community Association
LCCA will be holding their 2021 Annual General Meeting on 16th November 2021 (venue/time to be announced), please put this date in your diary. Nomination forms are available from the LCCA Executive Committee Secretary Mrs. June Pallister – nominations are required for LCCA Lay Vice Chair; LCCA Executive Committee Members and Deanery Synod Representative.

LCCA Harvest Supper
Tickets are selling fast for the Harvest Supper. If you do not yet have a ticket, please call Simon Crookall at 07922 602660.
We have decided to use this event to collect food items for the Lincoln Food Bank. Please bring non-perishable items with you to the Harvest Supper. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements. Entry to the Chapter House on this occasion will be via the Judgement Door on the South Side of the Cathedral. We look forward to seeing you there. As in previous years, we invite you to bring your own drinks to consume at the supper. Glasses will be provided


Lincoln Choral Society Concert
Saturday 6 November, 7.30pm
Lincoln Choral Society, with Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra return to Lincoln Cathedral to perform the Haydn Nelson Mass and the Lauridsen Lux Aeterna.

The pieces have been specially chosen as a reflection on the pandemic, and remembering those lost to Covid as well as acknowledging key workers, especially the NHS.

Tickets are on sale now from the Cathedral Shop.

Handel’s Messiah
Saturday 20 November, 7pm
Tickets from £12
Lincoln Cathedral Choir return with their performance of Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra.

La Nativité du Seigneur, Colin Walsh
Saturday 8 January 2022, 7pm
Tickets £6
Olivier Messiaen’s 1935 masterpiece is considered to be one of the greatest Organ compositions of all time. La Nativité du Seigneur is a Christmas tradition at Lincoln Cathedral and one not to be missed.

For more details about events and to book tickets, please visit our website –

Bible Readings

Sunday 17 October
Twentieth Sunday after Trinity

Isaiah 53: 4-end
Hebrews 5: 1-10
Mark 10: 35-45

Evening Prayer
Joshua 14: 6-14
Matthew 12: 1-21


Sunday 24 October
Last Sunday after Trinity

Jeremiah 31: 7-9
Hebrews 7: 23-end
Mark 10: 46-end

Evening Prayer
Ecclesiastes 11, 12
2 Timothy 2: 1-7


Sunday 31 October
Twentieth Sunday after Trinity

Wisdom 3: 1-9
Revelation 21: 1-6a
John 11: 32-44

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 65: 17-end
Hebrews 11: 32- 12: 2