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.

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