In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Naomi Miller, the Cathedral's Development Director
This week the new exhibition No Man's Land launches. This exhibition offers rarely-seen female perspectives on the First World War, featuring images taken by women who worked as nurses, ambulance drivers, and official photographers, as well as contemporary artists directly inspired by the conflict. it runs until 1 July.
In this centenary year of women's suffrage, we are celebrating the women who play important roles in the daily life of the Cathedral community.
Each Saturday of the year, we will be sharing a different story here and across our social media.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and search for the #BlessedIsShe hashtag.
What’s your connection with Bristol Cathedral?
I’m the Development Director, which on paper means that I am responsible for the Cathedral’s fundraising. But, as we’re such a small team here at Bristol, I’m also heavily involved with our marketing and with bringing new events into the space.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
I’ve celebrated my fourth anniversary in January – which seems extraordinary!
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
I confess it was in fact the city of Bath that first drew me to the South West – I relocated from East Anglia having visited the city on holiday. It was my Dad who first drew my attention to the job at Bristol Cathedral – I had worked in museums and galleries before, so this was my first venture into ‘cathedral land’. Like many of our visitors, I wasn’t really aware that Bristol had a Cathedral before I started working here.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
There have been so many! Meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury in my first few months here was very special – and playing Mary at the Toddler Carols to 800 small children was one of the most fun days at work ever! Bringing theatre and film into the space has been really exciting and seeing the Nave of the Cathedral completely transformed for our Nave Dinner is always a lovely moment. I’ve been really proud of the work that we’ve been doing to commemorate the centenary of the First World War – the Shrouds of the Somme on College Green was a real highlight, as is No Man’s Land, which we’ve been installing all week and opens to the public today.
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
I’m looking forward to us continuing to welcome new people into the building, for all sorts of new events – especially events that might surprise people. I feel very strongly about making sure that everyone feels welcome in the Cathedral and that we have better representation and diversity in our programme of events. We are going to be exploring how we tell our 900 years’ worth of stories, exploring new partnerships with artists, theatre makers and speakers – and embarking on a project to ensure that our magnificent organ is able to fill the building with music for generations to come. It’s an exciting time!
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
We always welcome people to events by saying “Welcome to Bristol Cathedral – Your Cathedral”. For me, that means that whether you’re here to eat your lunch in our garden, watch a film or see a piece of theatre, sing carols with your family at Christmas, light a candle at a moment of grief, or simply for some space of peace and quiet in which you can hear yourself breathe, this is your space, our space and all are welcome.