Faith & Worship

Week 21 - Gwenda Coles

In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Gwenda Coles, one of our team of flower arrangers in the cathedral.

Tomorrow is Trinity Sunday, our Feast of Title, as we are dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity. We hold a special community lunch to thank the many volunteers who give up their time for the cathedral, including people like Gwenda (pictured here next to one of her own arrangements), who spends her time here improving the cathedral for the greater glory of God.

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 a Flower Arranger, although I occasionally come in as a Mothers’ Union welcomer.


How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?

Since the middle of the 1970s, when I was asked to join the Flower Arranger rota. Over the years I did organise the rota and about 20 years ago the Cathedral Chapter Clerk at the time took over organising as our flower arrangement society disbanded.


What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?

I was a member of Bristol Flower Decoration Society, two members of which arranged flowers every week in the cathedral.


What have been some of your personal highlights?

Being asked to arrange the flowers for HM The Queen’s visit to distribute the Maundy Money in 1999; the special service, organised by the BBC of Songs of Praise, on the anniversary of the 1940 Bristol Blitz; flowers for Enthronements of Bishops, Installations of Deans… I could go on!


What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?

To try to raise its profile in the city – so many local people have never visited the building.


What does the Cathedral mean for you?

It is a place of quietness and reflection – although it can be fraught if everything is not going according to plan!

It has given me endless hours of pleasure, being involved with the flowers, and the life of the cathedral.