Monday 15 October 2012


"Regardless of your religion, cathedrals can have their own language and logic, of generosity and grace"

Within a culture of "deep diversity", cathedrals offer the ability to "meet and bond across boundaries". Nick Spencer - clearly a man after my own heart -  might have been listening in to our discussions yesterday evening, both about the value of monasteries in their wider community and about the role of cathedrals in their diocese.

In today's Guardian, he quotes research contained in a new study called Spiritual Capital.  It seems that nearly half of people questioned agreed that "cathedrals reach out to the general public, not just those who are part of the Church of England". More than half (53%) agreed that "cathedrals are welcoming to people of all faiths and those who have no faith"

It seems to be perfectly possible, he says, since cathedrals  are known as Christian institutions and yet successfully reach out to the general public, "to be both confessional in your identity, and inclusive in your operations".  Cathedrals, he goes on, "have their own language and logic, of generosity and grace, hospitality and holiness, worship, love and sacrifice, words and ideas that are formed by Christianity and not social policy."

Guardian article by Nick Spencer

Our cathedral in Oxford offers a number of open events to feed the mind and - maybe - nourish the soul.  Currently the Sunday evening After Eight series is called Across the Faiths.

1 comment:


    Another great new step towards breaking down barriers occurs every couple of months at Holy Trinity Church, Ascott in West Oxfordshire. On a Friday evening, the church turns into the Trinity Arms, with a bar (two real ales to choose from, Absolution and Confession!), candle-lit tables, live music, and lots of villagers! Ascott lost its village pub some time ago and here the locals reunite under the auspices of their wonderful hosts, the vicar Mark Abrey and his assistant Andrew Thayer. Good on them.

    Google "Chase Benefice" for a PDF with nice pictures of Ascott Church etc