Christine Wilson, Dean    Sally-Anne McDougall, Precentor    John Patrick, Subdean
Philippa White, Succentor

On Wednesday the church remembered John Chysostom, teacher of the faith. He was posthumously titled “golden tongue” because of his linguistic eloquence. He is described by commentators as having both a flair for words and a fierce commitment to practical theology. He wanted faith and commitment to Christ to be an authentic and lived experience both for himself and for those who listened to his passionate expositions of the Bible.

Following in the footsteps and example of Christ, his prophetic teaching upset the status quo. He had what we might describe as the marmite effect: loved by many, hated by others. His words were often targeted towards the rich, shining a spotlight on the inequality in a society where those with power and status enjoyed wealth and comfort while the poor suffered injustice and neglect. Sermons made demands on his hearers calling them to demonstrate a practical outworking of Christianity. To “walk the talk.” He set them a moral challenge about greed and wrongly acquired wealth demanding compassion and care for the poor. He championed moral reformation and in one of his sermons asks the rich: “you say you have not sinned yourselves. But are you sure you are not benefitting from the previous crimes and thefts of others?”

That question has a contemporary edge in a week when in Lincolnshire 11 members of the Rooney family were sent to prison convicted of crimes of modern day slavery. We may ask ourselves how we indirectly benefit from the exploitation of vulnerable individuals who are treated as commodities, stripped of their dignity and subjected to appalling working conditions to provide us with consumer goods and services. Tracking the consumer supply chain and maintaining ethical financial practices can be highly complex. Are we supporting the Living Wage? Where is our money invested and does it support the arms trade or child labour? The Church of England inadvertently fell fowl a few years back during Archbishop Justin Welby’s campaign against Wonga when a journalist discovered the Church Commissioners portfolio held investments in the company.

Modern day slavery is an escalating crime. Human traffickers prey on victims who are homeless, or disabled or simply tricked into forced labour on the promise of a better life. They find themselves enslaved working in nail bars, at car washes, in the drug trade, on agricultural farms, in factories and on construction sites as well as domestic servitude and prostitution. It is happening right under our noses and affects an estimated 13000
children and adults in the UK and millions worldwide.

In the Rooney case one commentator wrote: “This was a truly appalling case. These people lived a life of luxury by exploiting and abusing highly vulnerable individuals. They stripped them of their humanity, forcing them to live and work in terrible conditions.”

Alongside Chrysostom’s prophetic toughness was a pastoral concern for those who out of indifference or ignorance were supporting injustice and exploitation. During the autumn there will be an opportunity to explore these issues further and raise awareness of how to spot the signs and report it. In the meantime what we can do is continue to pray for the victims of these crimes, that others are not made to pay the price for our comfort and convenience.

Christine Wilson, Dean

From Jackie Croft, formerly Chapter Clerk: A huge thank you from me for all the cards, presents and good wishes from everyone. I feel truly blessed to have known you. I have adopted Bee 12 on the Skep situated on the North West Turret in honour of all staff and volunteers at the Cathedral as a permanent expression of my gratitude to you all for a fantastic job!

Artist in Residence Exhibition – Dominic Parczuk Paintings- Wednesday 6 September – Thursday 28 September. Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm. Sunday 1pm – 3pm. Having spent a year with Lincoln Cathedral, Dominic Parczuk is exhibiting 51 oil paintings in the Chapter House. Dominic focuses on the subject of how light and dark can create mood and has based his exhibition around this theme. Each painting represents individual moments of time where Dominic was urged and inspired to paint.

Lincoln Theological Society, Thursday 5 October, 7.00pm for 7.30pm in The Robert Hardy Lecture Theatre of Bishop Grosseteste University, Longdales Road, Lincoln. ” Changes in Liturgy, Preaching, Building and Governance from the Reformation to the Civil War as exemplified in St Paul’s Cathedral” by Professor Peter McCullough. Tickets are available at the Cathedral Shop, Unicorn books or on the night, priced at £5.00 and include refreshments and parking.

Richard III: Friday 6 October. 7pm in the Chapter House. A fundraising event in the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral on Friday 6 October 2017, in aid of the Lincoln Cathedral Music Fund which helps finance scholarships for choristers in the Cathedral. Dr Williams is telling the story of Richard III before the battle of Bosworth by way of re-enactment. He tells history in a way you have never seen before. Tickets cost £25 each. Please contact sue.pennell@btinternet.com

Lincoln’s Three Commons – LCCA Walk: Saturday 7 October 2017. The LCCA Autumn Walk includes parts of Lincoln’s three Commons (South, West and Cow Paddle), as well as the Arboretum, River Witham & Fosse Dyke canal and a 13th Century Monks Cell. You may see parts of Lincoln you haven’t seen before. The options are a 4 mile morning walk, or a 3 mile afternoon walk or both. Lunch will be available at a pub near Castle Square. If you’d like to join the walk please add your name on the List on the LCCA Notice Board. Any further information just ask John Harker 01526 323680.

LCCA Harvest Supper, Tuesday 17th October in the Chapter House, entertainment by a Ceilidh Band! Tickets will be on sale at coffee after the 9:30am service on Sundays or from the Cathedral Shop.

Ceremony of Carols. Saturday 16 December 2pm and 7pm performances in The Chapter House. A seasonal favourite as the Cathedral Choir performs Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, with Thea Butterworth as harpist under the direction of Jeffrey Makinson. Performances are at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets for the 2pm performance are £10 adults and £5 for children under 14. Tickets for the 7pm performance – are £25 and include drinks, canapés and a lantern light tour of the Cathedral. Tickets can be purchased from the Cathedral Shop – 01522 561644. For further information please visit www.lincolncathedral.com.

Bible Readings

Sunday 17 September  14th Sunday after Trinity
Sung Eucharist   Genesis 50.15-21; Romans 14.1-12; Matthew 18.21-35
Mattins   Isaiah 44.24-45.8; Revelation 12.1-12
Evensong   Ezekiel 20.1-8, 33-44; Acts 20.17-end

Sunday 24 September  15th Sunday after Trinity
Sung Eucharist   Jonah 3. 10-end of 4; Philippians 1.21-end; Matthew 20.1-16
Mattins   Isaiah 49.9-22; Revelation 14.1-5
Evensong   Ezekiel 33.23, 30-34.10; Acts 26.1, 9-25

Sunday 01 October  16th Sunday after Trinity
Sung Eucharist   Ezekiel 18.1-4, 25-end; Philippians 2.1-13; Matthew 21.23-32
Mattins   Isaiah 48.12-21; Luke 11.37-54
Evensong   Ezekiel 37.15-end; 1 John 2.22-end