In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Christine Froude, Archdeacon of Malmesbury and acting Archdeacon of Bristol
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?
Bristol is where the first women were ordained priest in 1994. It was a hugely moving and exciting occasion that has changed the face of the Church of England forever. It was where, just a few months later, I was ordained deacon and then priest, made an Honorary Canon, and where I was collated and installed as the first female Archdeacon in our diocese.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
Since I moved to Bristol in 1986 but particularly since my ordinations in 1995 and 1996, my installation as an Honorary Canon in 2001. And even more so since being collated as Archdeacon in 2011.
In 2001, prior to there being a female member of the Residentiary Chapter in post, the then Dean invited me to celebrate the lunchtime Eucharist on a monthly basis, a privilege I have continued to value as a regular part of my worshipping life.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
As the mother church of the diocese, the Cathedral feels like 'home'. So many of the important events in the life of the diocese, city and nation are celebrated here and it is a privilege to have been a part of them. I have some wonderful memories of these special occasions,
What have been some of your personal highlights?
So many. The confirmation service my son was a part of, the first ordinations of women as priests, the Maundy service, the pageantry of Legal Sunday, the Evensong when my husband was made an Honorary Lay Canon, my own collation as Archdeacon. And of course those quiet moments when the sun streams through the stained glass and heaven and earth meet...
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
The Cathedral is a home to so many aspects of our city and diocesan cultural life; exhibitions, concerts, lectures, discussion groups, film shows. These have been impressive ways of bringing people into the building to discover for themselves what a special and spiritual space it is. The challenge is to help them journey from visitor to disciple. An aid to this is the way in which the Cathedral has engaged with the social and environmental issues that weigh heavily on so many people's hearts today. The cathedral has earned a voice in the market place and I should like to see that voice grow stronger in the coming years.
What does the Cathedral mean to you?
A glimpse of God. A spiritual home. A place of peace and blessing.
A reminder of those who have gone before me in the journey of faith.