In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Revd Lisa Wigmore, a Minor Canon at the Cathedral, and Priest-in-charge at St Stephen's Church, Soundwell.
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 am a Minor Canon at Bristol Cathedral, but my connection with Bristol Cathedral is much deeper than that. Bristol Cathedral is ‘my Cathedral’ because I am an Ordained Minister in Bristol Diocese, but also because I am a resident of this city. Thus, the connection has always been, as I have always lived in Bristol.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
I have been associated with the Cathedral since 2009, when I began training at Trinity Theological College in Bristol.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
I joined in with a mission to College Green, whilst at Trinity College, which involved a group of us spending Saturday afternoons on the green, sharing our faith with others over a cup of hot chocolate, tea or coffee. The Cathedral supported this venture and I began to get to know the people. I suppose the Cathedral had appeared stuffy, distant and a bit irrelevant to me – perhaps too good and grand for a simple & flawed lass like me, but relationships began to change that. As I got to know the people, I began to want to know the people of the past, the history of ‘my Cathedral’.
As God would have it, the opportunity arose to spend a month on placement at Bristol Cathedral and during that time it really got under my skin in a good way. God removed some of the scales from my eyes and I began to welcome a new way for me, of praising God. Jesus was alive, but in a very different way from that which I had experienced before.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
Choral Evensong, three weeks into my placement. To be honest I hadn’t ‘got’ the Cathedral style of services – everything still felt distant and I felt detached, like others were worshipping and I was a spectator. Then, as I sat in the nave that Sunday evening, I felt the hem of His robe fill the place – and I knew somewhere deep within me that I hadn’t allowed myself to before, that the pomp and ceremony of Cathedral worship wasn’t for the sake of it, it was pointing to and heralding the King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, name above all names. Yes, I knew this in my head, but that night I experienced it in heart and it changed me.
Another personal highlight was, a few years later (again as God would have it), being the Chaplain to the Cathedral – I simply loved being part of the many great teams that make up Cathedral life.
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
Continuing to be a central place of worship for the city and the diocese, and to be a beacon of hope. To be a place where people can seek God in its quiet spaces, its architecture and its people. A place of welcome for all - because with God we are all equal and precious, accepted and loved.
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
A place and a community of people that are awed by the presence of God and invite me to join in.