I seem to be something of an oddity in finding this time of the year one to which I look forward.  As the evenings draw in I find myself comforted by the thought of evensong in an atmospherically lit cathedral followed by an evening settled at the fireside.  Whilst others might be mourning the loss of daylight and hunkering down for a metaphorical winter hibernation, I am beginning to come to life and looking forward to the joys of the winter festivities that lie ahead.  It does not matter that there is not a log fire to return to at the Precentory – there is something about this time of year that I find deeply satisfying. Of course, it is not all fun and fireworks – alongside All Saints we commemorate those who we miss as we mark All Souls, and there is the remembrance of the pain and futility of human conflict that we mark on Remembrance Sunday.  But above all, as the days dim and darken the brightness of the light becomes brighter as we head toward Advent and then Christmas.  Here the true joy of light in darkness is found as we remember the light that comes into our lives, and the love that enters the world in the Christ-child.

Having written all of this, it will probably come as no surprise that my enjoyment of these feasts of light in darkness does not stop with the eating of the Christmas pudding on Christmas Day (there are rarely too many leftovers in our household!)  I take a more mediaeval approach to Christmas – celebrating its full 12 days to the Feast of the Epiphany and then extending my enjoyment of this great festival throughout the 40 days until finally I reach the Feast of the Presentation at the beginning of February – remembering the light that comes to lighten the Gentiles.  Of course, by now, many people are looking forward with longing to the brighter days of spring – just around the corner.  But there is always something wistful in me as we begin to turn our backs on the contrast of light in darkness and begin our Lenten journey toward Easter.  Of course, there are also joys to behold as we travel that journey through Lent, Passiontide and Holy Week – and arrive at the blinding joy of Easter Day.  But nonetheless there is something about the Christian festivals of the darker months that brings me joy – where the very darkness highlights the brightness of God.

In the coming months I hope there will be much that we can rejoice in.  But there will also be much to look back on with more sombre thoughts – the cost that many have paid in emotional terms and in terms of worse mental health, and the loss that so many families have suffered over these past months.  So as we travel this winter journey together – unsure of where the light will shine, and where we might find the shadows cast, I pray that we will remain drawn to the light of Christ – a light that is no less that the very God who is love and joy and peace.  May that love, that joy and that peace touch our hearts, and shape our lives.

NICK BROWN, PRECENTOR

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 open to all, but it would help planning to have some indication of numbers.  Please could those intending to attend contact Theresa Moses, on theresa.moses@lincoln.anglican.org or 01522 422019.

Special services in the coming weeks

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 vergersvestry@lincolncathedral.com 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.

Community

COVID-19
The Government has shared its increasing anxiety about rising COVID rates, and the expectation of increasing rates of influenza this winter, and we must act responsibly to do what we can to protect our congregation, our visitors, our volunteers and our staff. Given the concerns, we are reiterating that we expect everyone over the age of 12 to wear masks in all our facilities, except when seated in the café, and to make use of the hand sanitisers provided. We also encourage everyone regularly to take a lateral flow test, and especially before attending busy events. A supply of masks has been made available for stewards and vergers to hand to anyone attending services/events without one.

Revd Canon Dr Paul Overend
On Monday 1st November, we welcome back, Canon Dr Paul Overend on a phased return to ministry as our Chancellor.  To begin with, his working days will be Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. (The exception with be the week of St Hugh’s day.)
When corresponding he can be contacted at: chancellor@lincolncathedral.com
Please remember in your prayers both canon Paul and his wife Sue as they set up their home once more in Vicar’s Court.

Sunday School
We are hoping to get Sunday School up and running again but need additional volunteers who are happy to be safely recruited and complete some training in order to support this. Could anyone interested please contact the Cathedral Safeguarding Officer on safeguardingofficer@lincolncathedral.com

Reading rota
There will soon be a new reading rota to run from the end of November up to Easter. If you would like to be added to the list of readers for the Sunday Eucharist, could you please contact me within the next seven days. Readers on the list normally read two or three times a year and new readers would be very welcome. Please email me at jeannette.davies@lincolncathedral.com

In House
The latest edition of In House; the journal from the Lincoln Cathedral Community Association is now available.
You can download the latest edition of the magazine here: In House Autumn 2021

St Hugh’s Day, 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.

Book your free tickets at Weather Reports: Exploring Implicit Theology Tickets, Wed 17 Nov 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

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

Minibus driver vacancy
We are looking for a minibus driver to transport junior members of the Cathedral Choir to and from the Cathedral and their school during the working week. You can find more details and how to apply on the website – https://lincolncathedral.com/get-involved/current-vacancies/

Lincoln Cathedral Community Association
LCCA will be holding their 2021 Annual General Meeting on 16 November 2021 in the Chapter House at 7pm.

Nomination forms are available from the Executive Committee Secretary Mrs. June Pallister – nominations are required for LCCA Lay Vice Chair; LCCA Executive Committee Members and Deanery Synod Representatives. Completed nomination forms to be returned to Mrs. June Pallister, no later than Tuesday 9 November 2021

Events

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.

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

Bible Readings

Sunday 31 October
Twentieth Sunday after Trinity

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

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

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Sunday 7 November
Third Sunday before Advent

Eucharist
Jonah 3: 1-5, 10
Hebrews 9: 24-end
Mark 1: 14-20

Evening Prayer
Isaiah 10: 33- 11: 9
John 14: 1-29

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Sunday 14 November
Remembrance Sunday

Eucharist
Daniel 12: 1-3
Hebrews 10: 11-14 [15-18] 19-25
Mark 13: 1-8

Evening Prayer
Daniel 3
Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

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