Bristol Cathedral re-opens for Holy Week

From the Dean

Today marks a year since public worship was suspended in England, and we find ourselves experiencing another lockdown Lent. It is a time to remember those who have sacrificed so much in the past year, particularly in our health service and among our hardworking lower paid key workers. If you visit tomorrow (18 March) at 6.00pm you can watch the short film Bristol Remembers. Featuring reflections from leaders and key workers from across the city, it's a chance to come together and remember those who have died, to acknowledge and speak into grief and loss, and to share in the hope we have for the future. It is an expression of unity across the city, a continuation of building Bristol as a City of Hope, and also an opportunity to pray for those that have experienced loss and to look to the future with a sense of hope. 

Lent should bring its challenges, but perhaps some of us have chosen to be a little kinder to ourselves this year feeling that the pandemic has created a year of Lenten deprivations all by itself. A year of uncertainty will certainly have taken its toll on our energy, mental health and resilience. I find myself incredibly grateful for the signs of new life in the natural world, particularly as a release into new life post pandemic seems still just beyond our grasp. In the Deanery garden a handsome magnolia tree is covered in pink candle-shaped buds just waiting to burst into full flower.

The natural world, the landscape around us and the landscape of the Holy Land have been the focus of our study and devotion through this Lent and will be the focus of a number of our services during Holy Week. Our preacher on Good Friday is the Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall, former Dean of Brecon, who knows Israel/Palestine very well and will be drawing on that knowledge to take us to the places that Jesus walked on the way to cross.

Before that, don’t miss our Quiet Day on Saturday 20 March, the Road to Golgotha, with reflections from all around the Bristol Diocese. Reflections will be posted on YouTube and Facebook throughout the day, beginning at 9.45am, allowing you to create your own space for prayer and reflection.

It has been a busy couple of weeks behind the scenes in the Cathedral as we have been interviewing candidates for two significant posts. I hope it won’t be too long before we can reveal the identities of our new Canon Missioner and new Chief Operating Officer.

Meanwhile, on the staff front, please keep Sarah Morris in your prayers. Sarah is on extended leave to care for her partner Philip who was involved in a very serious road accident a couple of weeks ago and remains in hospital undergoing treatment. We are keeping in close touch with Sarah while encouraging her to focus on her family at this time.

As I write, the rate of Covid-19 in the Bristol area continues to decline slowly, and vaccinations continue at pace, and for these reasons we have taken the decision to open the Cathedral for public worship from Palm Sunday. As before, spatial distancing and mask wearing will be required, and you will need to book on Eventbrite to attend a service. It will be lovely to see some of you again – but for those not able to venture out yet, the majority of services will be continue to be broadcast. Full details of services in Holy Week are below, and services in the building can be booked here.

The Collect for Good Friday

Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Posted on 17th March 2021