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It’s 8a.m. on a Tuesday morning, there’s a grey sky and a light drizzle. Thirty or so leaders of local organisations – schools, charities, businesses, churches – are munching bacon rolls in Treacy Hall. The head of a major arts organisation, recently knighted, is giving a talk about their work. He shows some videos, bursts of opera erupt unexpectedly into the breakfast meeting.
By 11a.m., the sun is pepping out through the clouds. Having heard the strains of opera first thing, the cathedral is now, remarkably, hearing two hundred ukuleles being played by primary school children from a mix of schools in different areas (some more deprived, some more affluent; some urban, some rural) across the Five Towns.
As the sun evaporates the last of the mist, back in Treacy Hall, a group of adults is sitting around doing craft activities and chatting over tea. Sometimes a young man with little English comes in asking if there’s anyone to play chess with him.
The sun is now well over the yardarm and a dozen or so children from a mix of local schools, state and private, are jostling and joshing each other down the stairs. But once they’re lined up, they focus on the music, creating an increasingly rare kind of worship which provides space for people, whatever their beliefs, to listen and think, and is the latest step on a path of nearly a thousand years of Christian prayer and singing on this site.
Recently, I asked a meeting of representatives from local parishes “What do you think the cathedral does all day?” They were pretty astonished by the number and mix of activities that go on here, the different kinds of people who engage with our building and community. I haven’t even described everything that was going on the other Tuesday! Thank you for all you give, in prayer and care and time and money, to make this work possible. There is much more we can and must do together, but when I think about what goes on here on a not untypical day, I am amazed and grateful for what we do do, and full of hope for what more we can do together. God has given us so much here at Wakefield Cathedral, and every single day I thank him that this community and building are here, and that I can be part of it. Thank you, too.
With prayers and best wishes,
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