Preparatory Stillness - Reflection by Enterprise Director Paul
Read Director Paul's reflection for Tuesday, 20 April, 2021.
Back in normal times (i.e. before the pandemic) it was my usual routine to get to the cathedral between 7.30 and 8.00am – that way I’d avoid the dreadful rush hour traffic on my 35 mile commute.
I would usually walk from my office (often with my colleague Jenny Moran, the cathedral’s Visitor Services Manager) to grab a coffee from the staff room a good five minutes away. First thing in the morning is a wonderful time to be at the cathedral. It’s good to enjoy the stillness, because whilst the day-to-day busy-ness of the cathedral is thrilling, it is also good to take a breath and enjoy the beautiful building when it’s almost empty.
As I was back in the cathedral the other day preparing for our build back: with opening for private and public prayer from 12th April and opening back as a more general visitor attraction from May 17th (we hope) - it made me think about the amazing range of different activities we have programmed within these walls in the four and half years I’ve been working here. Early on I experienced my first Cream Classical - which was an exuberant and exhilarating club night within the cathedral with orchestras, choirs and DJs. For anyone who (like me) loves music like this, it really is a special and memorable night out.
I also remember the evening we inflated a full-size hot air balloon within the cathedral, as well as the nights we’ve had with our local charity partners, the Whitechapel Centre for the annual cathedral sleepovers when we’ve welcomed over 400 people per event to spend the night. I was thinking too of the many abseil events we’ve done over the last few years where many hundreds of brave people have abseiled for their chosen charities and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds. There is also something special about the countless gala dinners, award ceremonies and annual corporates we’ve staged too.
Another key element of what we do has to be the great art exhibitions we love to stage at the cathedral. The two Luke Jerram installations (“Museum of the Moon” and “Gaia”) which ran during short spells in 2018 and 2019 were collectively seen by over 250,000 people. As we re-open we have another wonderful art installation coming to the cathedral. “Peace Doves” is an amazing community arts piece created for us by eminent British artist Peter Walker.
I’ve long-admired Peter’s work and it’s a great pleasure to be able to welcome this great art work (opening on Light Night 21st May) into the building which will consist of many thousands of paper doves flying high in the Well. We are hoping that the people of Liverpool will come along and enjoy the spectacle as we know many people have missed being in the building in the last twelve months.
I know how they feel, as it’s the same for us staff and volunteers. During this last unprecedented year, I have definitely missed the stillness of my early morning coffee, but above all, I think I’ve missed the buzz of thousands of people enjoying this unique building.
Thankfully it’s not long to go before we can welcome everyone back!
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of this website: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.