On this day, as the Diocese meets to welcome and enthrone the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, the first female Bishop of Bristol, for this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet one of the female clergy at the cathedral, the Revd Sarah Evans, Minor Canon and Cathedral Chaplain.
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 and the Cathedral Chaplain. My role is primarily to look after the pastoral needs of the Cathedral community and our visitors. I take home communion out to our regular congregation members who are unable to worship in church because of illness or frailty. Quite a number of them have been with us for many years and it’s important that I help them feel they are still part of the worshipping community. I coordinate the work of the Day Chaplains and the Mothers' Union Welcomers – they are essential to helping our visitors navigate the building and feel that this is a safe place to explore and perhaps to encounter God. I also lead worship and preach.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
Ten years, but I have been part of the clergy team here since February 2017.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
I was ordained here as a deacon in 2008 and as a priest the following year. My ministry was in rural parishes in North Wiltshire, but I came here on a month’s placement in May 2016 to see whether God might be calling me to cathedral ministry. A while later my predecessor, Lisa Wigmore, moved on to her new parish and I was delighted to be licensed here permanently as Chaplain. I have always loved cathedral music and over the years have worshipped at Durham and Salisbury and been privileged to sing in ‘occasional’ choirs at Guildford and Bath Abbey.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
In August 2017 I represented the Cathedral at the celebrations in Hannover marking the 70th anniversary of the Twinning between Bristol and Hannover. I was privileged to preach the sermon at the special service in the Marktkirche.
I enjoy the multi-sensory experience of the big occasions here in Bristol – the Advent Processions Service is one of my favourites, as is the Easter Vigil. I always find the music lifts my spirit to God. As a complete contrast, it is lovely celebrating a said communion in the Sub Croft Chapel, which we use from time to time. It’s a very intimate space and you get a real sense of being part of an unbroken succession of people who have worshipped here over 850 years.
Our new Diocesan Bishop, Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, is formally welcomed at her Enthronement Service this afternoon. This will be a great occasion and an opportunity to experience the Cathedral at its best.
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
The Cathedral has a very faithful and committed regular congregation and many volunteers on whom we rely heavily for all sorts of roles. I hope that we can build on that by encouraging discipleship in our younger generations. It’s important that we have a continuity of people willing to serve God in keeping this wonderful place alive for the future, as well as equipping them to be disciples in the wider world in other ways. I also hope the Cathedral can develop closer links with parishes across the Diocese, through prayer for them and practical assistance.
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
Right now it’s my spiritual home. Who knows where God will call me in the future, but I love ministering and worshipping here. I feel really blessed to have this opportunity.