Over the last few weeks I’ve been attempting to find my feet in my new – and very unexpected – role here at the cathedral. I’m grateful for the warmth of so many people’s welcomes and I hope that even though I’m only going to be in post for a year, I can make some helpful contribution to its life. 

I’ve spent most of my forty-plus years in ordained ministry working in various aspects of theological education, often connected with helping people prepare for ordained and lay ministries in various parts of the church. I’ve also taught quite a lot of academic theology, most of which has focussed around the place of churches and religious bodies generally in their historical contexts, past and present. It’s a truism to say that religion now occupies a very different place in western societies – including those in Britain – to the place it occupied in my childhood and adolescence in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I’m sure many others would recognise this from their own experience.  

One of the most dramatic changes is not only that just a very small minority of people today are adherents of any faith, but that so few people have any knowledge of the content of religious belief, or, more significantly, any experience of what it is like to practice that belief. If anyone has watched the recent television series about a group of people walking the Camino Real to Stantiago de Compostella, they might recognise this from the experiences of the walkers as they reflect on their motives for undertaking the journey. All are “celebrities” of different sorts and in the public eye, so their words might be given more attention than those of other people. Most not only say they have no faith at all, but have never had one beyond a passing contact in childhood; yet they can see no purpose in religious belief and suspect that it might do more harm in the world than good. 

It is easy for people who do profess and practice a faith to jump to defend that faith against such comments, but that might be to miss the larger point. Most of the walkers in the film are expressing one of the great realities about religious belief – of any sort – in the world in which we live; that it is something of which they have virtually no direct experience, certainly in their adult lives and nor do they know other people among their family and friends who have any belief either. 

This might be something to cause despondency, particularly in a diocese which is searching to establish a “sustainable future” for its life and witness. How could it be possible to bridge such a gulf of understanding and experience? Conversely, this might be an opportunity. If we can dispel the assumption that people know about faith and its practice, it might be possible to start afresh. There may be much in the varied and rich mix of Christian belief and practice which might speak to people who have never given such things a second thought, if only they could be invited to think about it or, better still, try it for themselves. Perhaps we can ourselves help others at least understand what faith means to us, why we continue to hold onto it and practice it; our own experience and grasp of faith might open all kinds of doors of perception in other people, not least if we can find unselfconscious ways of conveying it.  

Religious belief does not only feel very different today to the way it was decades ago, but it will continue to change and develop in the future. Faith so often touches the deepest parts of human experience, so it will always have echoes and relevance to people willing to hear and respond to what it has to offer. We can, if we wish, be a part of passing on the invitation to faith to others around us. 

NEIL BURGESS, VICE-CHANCELLOR

Worship & Mission

Saturday 5 June, 5.30pm Songs of Sorrow, Songs of Hope
A Sequence of Music and Readings at a time of change
Offered for or those who have been afflicted or bereaved by the virus

During the course of the past year, many in our communities have been deeply affected by the difficulties and challenges of adapting to life lived in a different way. As a result there have been increased strains on many people’s mental health. In recognition both of the time we have come through and the power that music has to heal, the Lay Vicars of the cathedral choir are singing a series of anthems written in the 17th century by one of Lincoln’s most famous musicians – William Byrd. This service, which will feature a sequence of five of Byrd’s Sacred Songs and readings that reflect on healing and hope, provides an opportunity to reflect on the journey we have travelled as a community, to look forward with hope, and to acknowledge the cost that many have suffered during this time. Aware that, for many, there remain real challenges, and money donated at the end of the service will be used to support local charities and groups working to support people develop and maintain better mental health.

The pattern of prayer and worship in the cathedral

Sunday
7.45am – Litany (BCP), St Hugh’s Shrine
8am – Holy Communion (BCP), St Hugh’s Shrine
10am – SUNG EUCHARIST (Choristers & Lay Vicars), Nave
12.30pm – Holy Communion (BCP), St Hugh’s Shrine
3. 45pm – CHORAL EVENSONG (Lay Vicars), St Hugh’s Choir

Monday
8am – Morning Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine
12.30pm – Eucharist, St Hugh’s Shrine
5.30pm – Evening Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine

Tuesday
8am – Morning Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine
8.30am – Holy Communion, St Hugh’s Shrine
12.30pm – Eucharist, St Hugh’s Shrine
5.30pm – CHORAL EVENSONG (Choristers & Lay Vicars), Nave

Wednesday
8am – Morning Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine
12.30pm – Eucharist (BCP), St Hugh’s Shrine
5.30pm – Evening Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine

Thursday
8am – Morning Prayer at St Hugh’s Shrine
8.30am – Holy Communion, St Hugh’s Shrine
12.30pm – Eucharist, St Hugh’s Shrine
5.30pm – CHORAL EVENSONG (Lay Vicars), St Hugh’s Choir

Friday
8am – Morning Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine
9am – ‘Stillpoint’, Ringer’s Chapel (Third Friday of the month only)
12.30pm – Eucharist, St Hugh’s Shrine
5.30pm – CHORAL EVENSONG (Choristers & Lay Vicars), Nave

Saturday
9am – Morning Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine
12.30pm – Eucharist, St Hugh’s Shrine
4.30pm – Evening Prayer, St Hugh’s Shrine

Evensong 25 June
Join us as we say thank you to our friends and colleagues who have left the Cathedral during the pandemic. We will be making a presentation to John Campbell our former Dean’s Verger as we have been unable to do this sooner due to the pandemic. Anyone wishing to contribute to the collection for John should pass their contributions to the Vergers Vestry.

Community

Collections
Anyone wishing to contribute to the collections for John Campbell and Rachel Revely should send their contributions to the Vergers’ Vestry, Lincoln Cathedral, LN2 1PX by Sunday 20 June.

Cathedral Cycle Route (CCR)
Sunday 30th May sees the launch of the CCR with the Newcastle to Durham leg taking place. Cyclists will arrive at Lincoln Cathedral from Sheffield Cathedral on Friday 4June between 4–4.30pm. It would be great if anyone was around to welcome them and applaud their achievement. Lincoln Cathedral cyclists depart for Southwell Minster the following day – the cyclists are Andrew Downie; Will Harrison; Sam Mellows; Colin Shields; Robert Rowett and Shaun Cutler (the brains behind the whole CCR idea).Riders from Lincoln will meet from 9.30am for a 10am departure, with an anticipated arrival at Southwell by 1pm. It would be great if friends and colleagues were around to see us off.

Welcome back admission offer
Anyone visiting the Cathedral between Monday 17 May and Saturday 5 June will be able to take advantage of a special ‘welcome back’ admission price of £5 for adults with children aged 16 and under free. For more details please visit: https://lincolncathedral.com/welcome-back-to-lincoln-cathedral-2/

Events

Lunchtime Concert – ‘Occasional Cellos’
Saturday 26 June, 1.10pm
There will be a retiring collection all in aid of the Cathedral Music Fund. This is a free event included within the normal Cathedral entry charge

Organ Recital – Jeffrey Makinson
Saturday 26 June, 7pm
The Programme for this concert will include works from J.S. Bach, Franck, Messiaen and Durufle
£6

An evening with Lincoln Cathedral Choir in the Cloister
Friday 9 July, 7pm
A fabulous evening of uplifting music within the atmospheric surroundings of the Cloister.
£12

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

BIBLE READINGS

Sunday 30 May
Trinity Sunday

Eucharist
Isaiah 6: 1-8
Romans 8:12-17
John 3: 1-17

Evening Prayer
Ezekiel 1: 4-10, 22-28a
Revelation 4

——

Sunday 6 June
First Sunday after Trinity

Eucharist
Genesis 3: 8-15 2
Corinthians 4: 13- 5: 1
Mark 3:20-end

Evening Prayer
Jeremiah 6: 16-21
Romans 9: 1-13

——

Sunday 13 June
Second Sunday after Trinity

Eucharist
Ezekiel 17: 22-end
2 Corinthians 5: 6-10 [11-13] 14-17
Mark 4: 26-34

Evening Prayer
Jeremiah 7: 1-16
Romans 9: 14-26