Weekly Reflection – Anniversaries

01 September 2023

Today’s our first anniversary. Not mine and Hannah’s (I remembered, it was early in the year!), but yours and mine: my first anniversary at Wakefield Cathedral.

A lot has happened since 1st September 2022 – and indeed a lot of it in my first week! Hannah was licensed in the parishes that day; there was my wonderful Installation Service on the 4th, where it was great to be welcomed to the cathedral and wider community; on 6th September all the clergy went away on a diocesan conference. And then, of course, the world shuddered and stopped on 8th September when there was first of all an unusual statement from the late Queen’s doctors and then, that evening, the announcement of her death.

Some anniversaries, of course, are very difficult, where we are recalling deaths, or other tragedies or sadnesses we’ve faced. And it’s been quite a pressured year at the cathedral: all the events around the Queen’s death and then the Coronation; the regular rhythm of daily and weekly and special services; a lot of staff absences and changes (some expected, some not); a major piece of work as we became a charity; and much more.

Despite the sticky patches we’ve come through together this year, and perhaps even because of them, for me, the end of my first year in Wakefield is a time to give thanks. I am so grateful to everyone in the cathedral and community who has made me and my family feel so welcome. I am awed by the dedication of our staff and volunteers, often unseen and under great pressure, who don’t just keep the show on the road but do it with good grace and real warmth. I am particularly grateful to our Dean for helping me find my feet and for his example of faithful, prayerful resilience. And first of all I am thankful to God for the chance to work and think and say my prayers in such a warm and beautiful building, where the prayers and tears and hopes of so many Wakefield generations feel very close.

So thank you, and thank God. Perhaps this might prompt you to think about what anniversaries you are marking today, this month, this year. God is always keen to know what we are thinking and feeling; so do tell him whatever sadnesses, frustrations, or thanksgivings are in your heart.

With prayers and thanks as always,

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Wakefield Cathedral

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