Weekly Reflection – Our Common Home

16 February 2024

Last week we held the inaugural meeting of the Cathedral Partners Forum. Some fifteen or sixteen people representing commercial, civic, educational, third and cultural sectors across our city and district enjoyed a tour of the cathedral conducted by our architect. This was followed by a formal meeting the main purpose of which was to get to know one another. What all of us had in common, despite the very different worlds which we inhabit, was an underlying appreciation of the importance of the cathedral in the life of our city and district. In different ways, and to a greater or lesser extent, the cathedral’s ministry touches all members of the Forum, or the organisations they represent, on a regular basis. The Partners Forum is chaired by the Senior Non-Executive Member of the Cathedral Chapter, Canon Jane Evans. The Forum is not formally part of the new governance structures which, in common with all English cathedrals, Wakefield has been required to adopt under the most recent legislation. But I am glad that Chapter agreed to establish a body of people who so obviously value the part the cathedral plays in the public square and who can act as critical friends to us.

During the meeting a verse from the prophecy of Jeremiah came to mind more than once: seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah was writing to the Jewish people who were taken forcibly into captivity in Babylon over two and a half thousand years ago  and who were not free to return to their ancestral home. Our situation is very different, of course; but the prophet’s words resonate down the millennia: praying regularly for the city where God has placed us is an essential part of our shared ministry, and the Partners Forum is a way in which that prayer can be brought to life through regular interaction with some of those who, like the cathedral, seek the welfare, the Common Good, of the place we call home.

With love and prayers,
Dean Simon

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