Faith & Worship

Week 49 - Emma Harrison

In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Emma Harrison, an ordinand from Trinity College, on placement at the Cathedral this academic year.

Tomorrow at 6.00pm the ordinands lead Sacred Space, a candlelit service of prayer and Taizé chant in the Eastern Lady Chapel.

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 on placement at the Cathedral as an Ordinand (trainee priest).


How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?

Officially since September 2018 when my placement began.


What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?

I love that the Cathedral hosts lots of art exhibitions open to the community and is a church open for the city in the city.


What have been some of your personal highlights?

Working at Bishop Viv’s enthronement, getting to know guests and members of all the different communities that make up the Cathedral family, and just being a part of such beautiful acts of worship on a weekly basis.


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

Continuing to engage with the arts and with anti-slavery initiatives in Bristol, helping the city to engage and reconcile with the church and with its own past in the Transatlantic slave trade.


What does the Cathedral mean for you?

For me, the Cathedral means many things!

Primarily it means worship, and a place of physical and spiritual refuge where anyone can come and seek an experience with a God who loves them and longs to meet with them.

It also means learning, because I am on placement at the Cathedral expressly to learn, but also because it is a place of teaching, and is closely linked with the Cathedral Choir School and hosts the UWE graduations.

Lastly I think the Cathedal represents connection. For me, one of the most beautiful things about Jesus was that throughout the bible accounts of his life, he mixed with all kinds of people, and didn’t treat anyone differently or judge them if they were different or struggling in life. Because of this he drew a really mixed group of people to himself, and I like that we have a little glimpse of this through the congregations at the Cathedral. Across the three Sunday services and numerous mid-week events, we encounter hundreds of unique people who despite their differences are all welcomed and connected by Christian community. That’s a beautiful thing!

Through this, the civic, and the school events that we hold, I think the Cathedral is a place where people can come at any time in life, to celebrate, commemorate, and find God. It is a place that calls the city to remember the poor and defend them, to remember the powerful and to keep them in check, and to remember everyone inbetween, to value their humanity, and to know that whatever our differences, we are all ultimately loved, welcomed, and made in the image of God.