Thy Kingdom Come – Peace

I will not leave you orphans. I am coming to you. John 14.18

Thy Kingdom Come

Pledge to Pray for Peace

Monday 22nd May, 22 year old Salman killed 22 people in Manchester arena.

It is hard to come to terms with the devastation caused by one individual on so many lives and lives associated with the victims and perpetrator. He was at the prime of his life with the whole life ahead of him. He was only 22 and for unknown reasons he had taken a life for each of his life on earth. It is of little comfort or hope to speculate. And for those who believe in life, abundant life promised by the one who gave his life to give us life, Jesus Christ we have a commandment to obey and an advice to follow. We are called to love and have been asked to pray.

Today is the eve of Ascension, a Rogation day i.e. a day observed as a of Prayer and a day of asking, by the Church. Jesus promised, ‘I will not leave you orphans. I am coming to you.’ (NRSV) The verb ‘coming’ ἔρχομαι is used in the Present, Indicative, Middle or Passive voice in the 1st Person Singular. The force of that usage is that the ONE who promised to be with us is both ever present and ever coming to our comfort and aid.

Let us pray that the ONE who is coming to bring peace and comfort will sustain and surround all who grieve the loss of their loved one, so violently. Let us also pray that the Peace of the ONE who is coming will come to all who are troubled and chose death over life and cause much pain.

The symbol above is Arabic numerals for 22 designed as M to remember the 22 victims of the 22 year old Salman in Manchester on the 22nd of May.

The Most Holy Place

Jesus entered the Most Holy Place once and for all. Hebrews 9.8


Every moment of suffering has three layers. The outer, the medial and the inner. When Jesus entered his Passion, his outer court looked focused, determined and active. Jesus ate with his friends, communed with them, taught them and prepared them for entry into the inner court. Here he had his close friends, he preferred solitude, he prayed, he cried and was in agony. In the most holy place, he was with his Father, alone. He was visible on the cross and yet invisible in his communion with the father. While the on lookers saw his suffering and heard his cry, it was but the shadow of his offering. Here in is the mystery of the cross. While the senses give us some glimpse into this suffering, there is peace and joy in the invisible. He we enter in only in and through him.

Mothering Sunday Festival

Mothering Sunday Festival at the Cathedral

Around a hundred and fifty people gathered at the Cathedral Church to celebrate the Mothering Sunday Festival with Prayer and Praise, Singing and Dancing, Eucharist and Food. The Cathedral ladies, many from the Egbo family background, processed through the centre isle of the Cathedral singing and dancing giving thanks for the gift of motherhood and remembering mothers around the world.

The Liturgy was set to Eucharist setting by world renowned composer, Prof Paul Mealor and conducted by the Master of Choristers at the Cathedral, Prof Andrew Morrison. The setting by Prof Mealor evoked the beauty, tenderness and robustness of motherhood. And the words of the Liturgy brought home for many, the motherhood of God.

The Lenten Choral Meditation in the afternoon was a perfect end to a most beautiful day. In between the two worship events, the John Skinner Centre of filled with people, food, drinks, music, dance and many children. The day was a foretaste of heaven. God bless all those who put in hours of hard work to make it such a special day.

Photos will follow. Watch the space.

CDP 2020 Fundraising

CDP2020 Dr Claire Woods, Director of Fundraising outlined the plan

Good evening everyone, my name is Claire Woods. I am an active member of the St Andrew’s Cathedral congregation, serving on the Board of Trustees as Provost’s Warden and assisting in the cathedral choir, training the young trebles.

I was both honoured and slightly scared when I was invited to join the Project Management Team as Director of Fundraising and I am speaking to you in that capacity this evening. A quick glance around you will be enough for you to realise that our Diocesan Cathedral is in dire need of some TLC. The walls, which were last repainted in the early 1980s, are covered in waxy dirt, many of the lights no longer work because the wiring is corroded and the heating is chronically unreliable. Most of you have attended large diocesan events here in the past and will have found that the vestries are too small and the toilets are woefully inadequate. It is clear that something has to be done – but what?

The Cathedral Trustees have been exploring development options for the past 15 years, with many false starts and rejected ideas along the way. Now at last, under Isaac’s leadership, we believe we have discerned God’s purpose for us in this central Aberdeen location. The congregation and Chapter all share a vision of making St Andrew’s Cathedral a home of Christian hospitality and culture in the heart of Aberdeen.

The brochures you have been given explain the development plans. In particular they tell you how the improvements are designed to benefit the congregation, young and old, the diocese as a whole, local community groups, young music performers and other musicians, seekers after truth and pilgrims from further afield.

We believe this programme will give something to everyone and we are asking everyone to give something to the programme. The total cost of the programme is £1.7 million, of which £650,000 has been secured and a further £200,000 identified. This brings us to the halfway point of the journey. We have a target of £400,000 to raise from the present and past cathedral community and the diocese.

We are most grateful that the Diocesan Lent Appeal has been allocated to the project this year. I am asking that you consider becoming an individual benefactor of the cathedral, as the mother church of the diocese. I also urge you to organise a group of members of your own church collectively to become a benefactor. For example, the mothers at the cathedral have pledged to join together to become a group benefactor and they will do this as part of their thanksgiving offering to God on Mothering Sunday.

By pledging 5, 10 or 25 pounds a week for a 3-year period, you can become a benefactor, donating a sliver, gold or platinum seat or ‘Cathedra’ to the project. All the information you need to do this is at the back of the brochures. There are additional brochures and separate pledging forms on the tables at the back of the cathedral. Please take a few as you leave and distribute them around your own church.

I sincerely thank you in advance for your generous response to this appeal.

CDP 2020 Project Outline by James Lyon

CDP Project Director James Lyon outlined the Programme

Good evening Bishop, Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is Jim Lyon. I am a retired architect, an active member of, and recently closely involved in the new Westhill Community Church project. Earlier I was involved in the reconstruction of St Clements, Mastrick following the extensive storm damage suffered when gales blew off the copper roof in March 2008.

I was delighted and honoured to be invited by your Provost to lead a varied and dedicated team to carry out the Cathedral Development Project 2020. This project has 3 elements. The first is the total refurbishment of the Cathedral. The second is the complete transformation of the old Merchants House adjacent to the John Skinner Centre, recently vacated by Peacock Printers, into the new SEABURY HOUSE. This entails the construction of a 4 bedroom flat for the Provost and his family, a one bedroom flat for guests, and on the ground floor a Song School. The third element is the upgrading of the John Skinner Centre.

The brochure produced by the hard working staff of the Cathedral, which you should all have received on entering tonight, gives a broad outline of the project as well as a brief history of the Cathedral.

The project team consists of members from the Cathedral and the wider diocese. One of your patrons – Lord Glenarthur – is a man of vast experience and connections and a leading figure at St Ternan’s Banchory. Your redoubtable Provost, Isaac Poobalan, brings vision, boundless energy, enthusiasm and prayer to the team.

Professor Andrew Morrisson is a leading trustee, Director of Music and a fount of knowledge and understanding of the running of the Cathedral and the needs of the congregation. From Christ Church, Kincardine O’ Neil, we have Richard Strang-Steel, our Financial Director, and a man of great experience in the financial world. Our Director of Fundraising, Dr Claire Woods, is the Provost’s Warden and Trebles’ Choir Trainer and last, but by no means least, our efficient minute secretary, Lynda Johnston the Cathedral Administrator. To complete the team we have a separate professional design and management team led by James Roy our architect, who has a successful and acclaimed career in the design of church building projects, ably assisted by Quantity Surveyor, Alan Crighton, who will keep an eagle’s eye on costs, and Structural Engineer, Roddy McLeod.

The first priority is to complete Seabury House to accommodate the provost and his family, then to bring this historic Cathedral up to modern standards, of access, heating, lighting and seating to provide an efficient, versatile space to meet the needs of, not only a growing and vibrant 21st century congregation, but also to serve the Diocese and the city centre community. Finally, as funds become available, to upgrade the John Skinner Centre to meet the expanding ministries of the Cathedral. The overall project will take a number of years to complete, but with your help and support by prayer, by talent, by service and by finances, we will restore this magnificent building to its full glory. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey.

CDP2020 Launch on 3rd March

CDP 2020 Launch on 3rd March

The Cathedral Development Programme (CDP 2020) was formally launched within the Diocese immediately before the Diocesan Synod Eucharist, which was held in St Andrew’s Cathedral on Friday 3rd March. Lord Glenarthur as a Patron and part of the Cathedral Development Programme team welcomed the gathering and introduced the presenters. The Right Reverend Bishop Robert Wickham of the Edmonton Diocese in London gave an inspirational exploration on ‘The Outrageous Hospitality of God’.

Welcoming Address by The Lord Glenarthur

Bishops, Provost, Members of the Diocesan Clergy, Ladies and Gentlemen: My name is Simon Glenarthur, one of the Patrons for the St Andrew’s Cathedral Development Programme 2020. This exciting enterprise, with details of its implementation, is being formally launched this evening. It is, therefore, my great pleasure to welcome you all most warmly to St Andrew’s Cathedral, ahead of the Diocesan Synod Eucharist which will follow, so that we can tell you about our proposals.

Over the years there have been a number of attempts to take forward the conservation and development of this Cathedral, which lies at the heart of the worshipping community within this Diocese and more widely. None have taken root. But this time, all of us who are privileged to be involved have a new and enhanced sense of purpose. And the Provost, Isaac Poobalan, has assembled a team of experts and advisors to give it due impetus.

We mean business!

My role this evening is simply to introduce some of the team. They will explain the functions that they are fulfilling. At the reception after the Service there will be an opportunity for you to meet them, ask questions and, no doubt, make suggestions. And there are a number of descriptive boards which show aspects of the programme, as well as an appeal brochure, which you will have already seen.

As you know, the Diocese is currently without a Bishop, although Bishop Bob Gillies was very much an inspiration for what is now being taken forward. I do know that Bishop Mark, of the Moray Diocese, who has pastoral responsibility for this Diocese and is present this evening in the meantime, very much endorses the project. However I am particularly delighted to welcome also Bishop Robert Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton, who will be addressing the Diocesan Synod tomorrow, and who has considerable experience of this kind of project, and he will shortly say a few words.

He will be followed by James Lyon, the indefatigable Chairman of the Development Committee, who has a magnificent track record in delivering similar ventures, and he will give a brief overview of the entire project and the team which he has assembled.

Of course, a complex project like this requires finance. So we have been fortunate to have persuaded Dr Claire Woods, who will be known to many of you, to take on the role of Director of Fundraising, and she will speak last and set out the parameters of what is required and how, with your help, we plan to attain it.

But before I ask Bishop Robert to speak, let me simply say that this project is not a matter for the Cathedral and its congregation exclusively. Rather, it is one which must involve the entire Diocese and the Church communities which make it up. More than that, as you will see from the brochures which you have been given, our links with the Episcopal Church in the United States are strong and we hope to use them to good effect.

Preliminary work has already begun; planning consent is being applied for; applications to help with funding have been lodged. A very exciting journey has begun. It will need all our joint determination and enthusiasm to see it concluded.

Vigil for our Parliamentarians

We remember in our prayers all our Parliamentarians and all affected by the Terror attacks in Westminster.  We pray for our own Parliamentarians Kirsty Blackman and Callum McCaig that they will be kept safe to continue their work on our behalf in Aberdeen.

Let us Pray:

Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, Westminster, London,

and drive from it all the snares of the enemy;

let thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace;

and may thy blessing be upon us evermore;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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