As I write this letter, it is, the 29th August, the day when the church remembers the beheading of John the Baptist: the forerunner of Jesus Christ in, both, birth and death.

 On this day, we remember John who before his own birth leapt for joy at the presence of his saviour, who baptised Jesus and witnessed the Trinity here on earth and who proclaimed a gospel of repentance and truth. John was courageous and bold in speaking of justice and truth to all. We read in scripture of his confidence in speaking truth to power, his judgement that it was wrong for Herod to take his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias, to be his wife. Although, a citizen under Herod’s rule, he did not choose to serve that crown of gold that placed him in chains, but chose instead to serve the crown of thorns: a higher and greater power that brought all creation into being. The creation that we are all called to be stewards of and are trusted by God to care for. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, standing outside normal social structures and spoke from his position as an outsider with a prophetic witness as a voice of one crying from the wilderness “make straight the way of the Lord.” He lived vulnerable to the fierceness of the natural world and yet was given deeper spiritual insight and understanding. He opted out of home comforts to be closer to God, who had known him before he was born. In living close to creation John was given a rich understanding of the world, of truth and of justice. I am not trying to advocate we all go live in the wilderness, we are not all called to be John the Baptist but we are all appointed with the task of being stewards of creation.

Our lives are so cushioned and comfortable, largely lived away from nature, and this has the potential to take away from us insight like that of John: prophetic witness to see the world as it really is. Our comfortable lives can effectively shield us from seeing truth or even make us complacent about the danger we pose to the world itself. The world which we have a God given task to protect, in order to sustain the life of the earth and the integrity of creation. This week the Cathedral is playing host to parts of the Moana-Water of Life Conference, which will open a dialogue between the church and scientific community surrounding the global issues of rising sea levels whilst there is not enough water to drink. This is a dialogue we need to maintain as our world struggles to combat climate change. In our global climate change emergency, we all have the potential to make a difference to our planet which was so lovingly made and gifted to us.

Bob Dylan says “we are all called to serve somebody”. We make a choice, do we serve the glittering crowns of this age, the comfort, the commodity, the power that can put us in chains, like John? Or do we serve the higher powers that make kings, like Herod, look small and petty?

We are challenged to preserve the natural world and respond to the climate change emergency. We are challenged to see beyond this present age with its powers and its lures, like John did. We are challenged to look to a future with an earth preserved in beauty and life for all generations to come. It is to this we are called by God and so we must respond in service.

Rachel Revely, Assistant Curate

Worship & Mission

Change of service time
Sunday 1 September
The Eucharist will be held at 10.30am and there will be no Mattins. The service will focus on the topic of climate change and marks the end of the Diocesan Climate Change Conference: Moana Water of Life: Navigating Climate Change for Planetary Health.

Stillpoint
Saturday 7 September, 9am-9.45am
You are invited to 45 minutes of guided silent prayer in the Ringers’ Chapel of Lincoln Cathedral. No experience of contemplative prayer needed. All are welcome.

Lincoln Theological Network Lecture
by Dr Sibylle Erle
Saturday 7 September, 3.00pm – 4.30pm
Anti-Clerical Views and Theological Thought: William Blake’s Visionary Christianity by Dr Sibylle Erle, Reader in English Literature in the School of Humanities at Bishop Grosseteste University, author and co-editor of the two-volume collection titled The Reception of William Blake in Europe (Bloomsbury, 2019). This lecture, which is on William Blake’s response to the creation story in Genesis, explores body-making in Blake’s creation myth to consider the relationship between the human and the divine.

Spiritual Classics Reading Group
Saturday 28 September, 10.30am
The Precentory, 12 Eastgate LN2 1QG
This is an open group in which members read a book prior to the meeting and discuss it together.
This month the book is Awareness by Anthony de Mello

Sacred Space
Once a month on a Sunday at 6.45pm
This popular service is gentle and reflective with time to wonder and explore, encouraging everyone to use all their senses; it offers a different way to experience worship at Lincoln Cathedral.
Dates and themes for the coming months are:
Sunday 22 September – Abundant Grace
Sunday 27 October – Saints and Sinners
Sunday 24 November – Kingdom
Sunday 15 December – Light in the Darkness

Community 

Lincoln Cathedral Community Association
Monday 7 October, 7pm
The Annual General Meeting of the LCCA will take place on Monday 7 October in The Cathedral Centre at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Elections will be held for Lay Vice Chair; Deanery Synod Representatives and New Committee Members – nomination forms for these roles will be available in September.
LCCA Harvest Supper will be held on Wednesday 16 October in the Chapter House – more details nearer the event.
Please put the above two dates in your diaries, thank you.

Lincoln Pride
Saturday 28 September
If you are interested in joining the Lincoln Churches Group who are taking part in this year’s Lincoln Pride walk please speak to the Precentor who will be happy to provide further details.

Events

Organ Concert Series 2019
Saturday 21 September, 7pm, Charles Harrison
Friday 4 October, 7pm, Organ Extravaganza
Sunday 22 December, 5.30pm, La Nativité du Seigneur

The Hallé
Friday 27 September
The Hallé returns to Lincoln Cathedral for its popular and highly acclaimed annual concert.
The Cathedral is delighted to announce the return of Sir Mark Elder CH CBE, as the conductor for this year’s performance. The Hallé will be joined by Colin Walsh for a rendition of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No.3 in C minor.
Ticket prices start from £12.

Tristram Hunt Lecture: Prince Albert’s Great Legacy
Thursday 10 October
Historian, journalist and former politician Tristram Hunt, became director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2017.
The V&A is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Lunchtime Concert
Saturday 19 October, 1pm
Students from Lincoln University will be playing under the direction of Mark Wilde and Ed Wellman. Entrance to the Concert is free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of Murdered Abroad (Registered Charity No 1111724), a charity which supports the families and friends of victims of murder and manslaughter abroad.

Handel’s Messiah
Saturday 23 November
We welcome you once again to our popular annual performance of Handel’s Messiah performed by the Choir of Lincoln Cathedral and the Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra, conducted by our Director of Music, Aric Prentice.
Tickets will be available soon.

Wallace and Gromit In Concert; The Wrong Trousers
Saturday 4 January
Audiences will be treated to five showings of the film on a big screen in the Nave, and the 30-piece chamber orchestra will bring the soundtrack to life in spectacular fashion.

Tickets
Tickets for all events are available from our website- www.lincolncathedral.com, by calling 01522 561658 or in the Cathedral Shop.

Bible Readings

Sunday 1 September
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Sung Eucharist
Ecclesiasticus 10: 12-18
Hebrews 13: 1-8, 15-16
Luke 14: 1, 7-14

Mattins
Jonah 3: 1-9
Revelation 3: 14-22

Evensong
Isaiah 33: 13-22
John 3: 22-36

Sunday 8 September
Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Sung Eucharist
Deuteronomy 30: 15-end
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14: 25-33

Mattins
Jonah 3: 10-end of 4
Revelation 8: 1-5

Evensong
Isaiah 43: 14-44.5
John 5: 30-end

Sunday 15 September
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Sung Eucharist
Exodus 32: 7-14
I Timothy 1: 12-17
Luke 15: 1-10

Mattins
Isaiah 44: 24-45.8
Revelation 12: 1-12

Evensong
Isaiah 60
John 6: 51-69