In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Diana Lee, one of the leaders of our children's church, Cathedral Kids, volunteer, and member of the congregation.
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 one of the leaders in Cathedral Kids, having previously co-ordinated the children’s church for some 17 years. I am a Eucharistic Minister, Intercessor and a member of the Cathedral Council. I also volunteer with Bristol Churches’ Winter Night Shelter, which I heard about through the cathedral’s Social Justice Group. My other connection is that I’m married to the Master of the Choristers.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
Since we moved to Bristol 20 years ago.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
My husband was appointed to the post of Master of the Choristers in 1998 so I came to the cathedral as a member of the congregation. At that time our daughter was 18 months old and I joined with another mum to start a Children’s Church at the cathedral. We ran a trial scheme during Advent and since then it has grown into a really vibrant part of the cathedral’s work with families and children.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
The MUSIC! It’s difficult to pick out highlights – there have been so many. But standing out amongst them: first, the choir singing Bainton’s And I saw a new heaven at the BBC Radio 3 live broadcast Evensong in 2000 – I realised I was hearing something truly special, and since then the choir has gone from strength to strength. And second, the choir singing Sanders’ Reproaches on Good Friday – which always moves me to tears.
Playing the bassoon in the orchestra for a performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with my husband conducting. The music was profoundly moving.
Being presented to the Queen at the reception after the Royal Maundy Service [in 1999]. We were given prior instructions to address her as “Your Majesty” and subsequently “Ma’am”. I remember that she drank gin and Dubonnet!
Chaperoning the choristers during the live broadcast of the Christmas Day Eucharist on BBC1 [in 2016]. For the first time ever, I wore a red cassock so that I blended in with the choir in the Quire!
Hosting the lay clerks, choral scholars, organists and clergy in our garden for the annual summer barbeque, to celebrate the end of the academic year. It’s always a jolly occasion accompanied by much laughter and banter. The sun always shines!
Seeing the spiritual progress of children through the children’s church to Confirmation. Some of them are now on the serving team.
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
I’d love to see further opportunities for engaging with young people of all ages. At the moment most of the provision is for primary school-aged children. I think there could be more outreach to babies and toddlers and their families, and also teenagers. It’s exciting that the new Canon Chancellor will be overseeing the growth of the cathedral’s mission with young people.
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
It’s like a second home for me. I feel I can be totally myself and know God’s presence in that space, surrounded by wonderful people, uplifting music and the inspiring beauty of the building itself.