Faith & Worship

Week 23 - Mary Opie

In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Mary Opie, a member of the congregation and volunteer guide.

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 member of the congregation and a volunteer Guide, increasingly working with school visitors. I attend Social Justice events, whenever possible and I also help out as a steward for exhibitions. My husband Roger is the current High Sheriff and together, with staff at the Cathedral, we have been planning the annual Charity concert which took place last night.


How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?

I have lived in Bristol since the 1970s and have been attending events, concerts, exhibitions and occasional services throughout this time. Some five years ago I started to go Evensong and other special services at key times in the Christian calendar. This has encouraged me to become a more regular worshipper.


What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?

Many things attracted me to the Cathedral: The music - listening to such high quality performances touches the soul and is an extraordinary privilege. The architecture from Norman in the Chapter House to Gothic Revival in the Nave along with the exquisite stained glass lend a majesty splendour and radiance to the building. The sermons too, are a great draw too as they are always so instructive and inspiring.


What have been some of your personal highlights?

Recent highlights have included attending the sublime Office of Compline during Holy Week, listening to incredible choral music such as the Fauré Requiem last autumn and taking my grand-daughter to the Nativity event for toddlers which was a resounding success and extremely over-subscribed.


What does the Cathedral mean for you?

A unique place of spaciousness and welcome, a sanctuary where one can reflect and be still.

Becoming part of the wider cathedral family has enriched and enhanced my life.


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

Continuing what it does best in terms of its liturgy and music, broadening its horizons to attract new people into the building helping them to discover what a special place it and expanding its Social Justice work to get people involved in practical action within the city.