Happy New Year!
The Church year started on Advent Sunday, in quite wonderful and spectacular fashion at Liverpool Cathedral. Sunday morning gave us an inspiring sermon from Major-General Tim Cross, in the equally inspiring setting of a celebration of Communion at the High Altar. Sunday afternoon brought the Advent Procession at its new, "properly dark" time of 5:30. Any concern that the new time would confuse and lead to poor turn out, were firmly proved wrong, since despite the appalling weather, the Big House was pretty much full. Those attending were treated to an inspiring and spiritually uplifting service. Even the Clergy managed to look very pretty in their Festal Copes, such as to achieve an ecclesiastical catwalk show. Just need more candles next year!
This being the first week in Advent, the Cathedral has not been slow off the mark in the inexorable gallop towards Christmas. First to arrive have been a couple of Eco Warriors in the shape of Penny and Poppy Penguin. Part of Liverpool’s Year of the Environment, they are two of 100 five foot high penguins that will be available for viewing, patting etc until January 10th 2010. Why not follow the trail and bag all of them?
Tonight there is an Ecumenical Service of Healing at the Cathedral. This will start with some informal music (yes guitars and a piano are involved) at 7:30, before a short service at 8pm. All are welcome from any denomination or none. After a brief act of worship, there will be opportunities for the ministry of the Laying-on-of-hands with prayer and anointing with oil for any who would like to receive it. This will be offered at various locations in the central main space of the cathedral. After the service there will be an opportunity for longer conversations.
Canon Anthony Hawley from Liverpool Cathedral said, "An intrinsic part of the Gospel’s mission is the place of the healing ministry, and, for the second year running, Liverpool Cathedral is holding a Service of Christian Healing at the beginning of Advent. This is an ecumenical service of spiritual and physical healing, an open invitation to all to experience the healing presence of Jesus.
"There will be opportunities for individuals to come forward if they wish, to receive the laying on of hands and to pray for themselves or for others, like the small group in Luke’s gospel who carried their paralysed friend to Jesus on a stretcher, lowering him through the roof. We hope that people will come along, even just to take some time out, to be still and to reflect, whilst those around them pray for them."
World Christianity Lectures
7:30 in the Radcliffe Learning Centre Liverpool Cathedral
This is the second of two lectures focusing on the challenges of Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere, where 65% of Christians now live and worship. The first lecture having focused on Asian Christianity, the Very Rev Justin Welby, Dean of Liverpool, will be turning his attention to the challenges and lessons that African Christianity brings us. The lecture is free and all are welcome.
December 4th 7:00pm
RADIO MERSEYSIDE AND NUGENT CARE CHRISTMAS CAROLS FOR MERSEYSIDE
presented by Roger Phillips, readings from BBC Radio Merseyside presenters and a host of local performers, to be broadcast on Christmas Eve, launching the ‘800 Group’: 7 of Liverpool’s leading charities who pledge to work together to support others right across the city.
Tickets £5 from Radio Merseyside 0151 708 5500
December 5th 7:30
An Evening of Christmas Classics
Presented by local author and Liverpool expert, Ken Pye, this is very special evening of festive seasonal music to get you in the mood for what is to come! . Under the baton of David Poulter and accompanied by Ian Tracey, the choristers and Chamber Choir of Liverpool Cathedral will perform a range of your Christmas favourites, including excerpts from Handel’s Messiah in the intimate setting of the Well. Concert tickets include an interval glass of mulled wine and mince pie and are available from the Cathedral shop (0151 702 7255) now or on-line at http://www.cathedralshop.com
So…..hopefully something for everyone. I hope to ensure that details of all the events at the Cathedral will be up on the site soon. However, there is an awful lot going on, so do keep your eyes on the Cathedral’s site top, just in case I’ve missed something.