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.

SACA Oremus

The workshop on Leading Intercessions, led by Avril Hern, our Diocesan Warden to the Lay Readers, was held in the Cathedral at 2pm on Saturday the 18th of March 2017.

This is part of a series of SACA Oremus events held at the Cathedral for developing confidence in outreach through In reach.  SACA Oremus (Let us Pray) is designed to help us witness both within and out with the confines of our worship environments.

Many of you are aware of these events and to some this may be the first time you hear of it.  Thank you to those of you who are part of this Confident Disciples of Christ (CDC) journey.  This is an ongoing CDC series of Workshops, Seminars, Conferences and Communion.  Please remember this in your prayers.

Cathedral Launches an ambitious Development Programme

The Cathedral Development Programme 2020 (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.

Over a hundred people from the Diocese were present at the Eucharist which began with presentations from Lord Glenarthur, Bishop Robert Wickham from the Diocese of Edmonton in London, Mr James Lyon from the Westhill Community Church and Dr Claire Woods from the Cathedral Congregation.

The Cathedral Development Programme brochure was launched and the Synod then entered a period of prayerful silence before the commencement of the Liturgy.

Please visit the CDP 2020 page on this website and remember the Diocese and its Cathedral in your prayers.

Provost and the Dean in Christ Church Cathedral, Connecticut

CCC Liturgy

On Thursday the 18th of February 2016, the Revd Miguelina Howell was installed the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Connecticut by the Rt Revd Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut.  The Dean of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, the Very Revd Dr Emsley Nimmo was installed as the Honorary Cathedral Canon of Christ Church Cathedral at the same service.  The Provost of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, the Very Revd Dr Isaac M Poobalan was the invited guest who presided at the Sung Eucharist on Sunday the 21st of February 2016.

The Cathedral Churches in Aberdeen and Hartford are linked historically through the consecration of Bishop Samuel Seabury by the Scottish Bishops Kilgour, Petri and Skinner.

Installation of Isaac Poobalan as Provost and Rector


Isaac Poobalan was installed Provost and Rector of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on Saturday the 7th of November 2015.

There were around 500 people in attendance with Bishop Bob as Celebrant.  The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, the Provost of Aberdeenshire, local MPs, MSPs, the Principal of the Robert Gordon University Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski and his wife, all the Clergy and Lay Readers from the United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney were present.

There was greater joy as representatives from the Episcopal Church in the USA were present.  The Revd Canon Michael Belt from the Diocese of Connecticut, the Revd Prof Gordon Graham from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey and the Revd Kristin Miles from Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York added joy to the occasion.

St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir were in their very best form, filling the Sacred Space with God’s glory with their voices.  The Trebles from the Choir led the congregation in prayer.  Their prayers brought the whole community of Aberdeen, gathered in that place with hope and confidence in a world blighted with conflicts and suffering.

It was sign of new beginning for the Cathedral and the Faith community in Aberdeen.

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