“We do deep spiritual experiences!” Encountering the ‘other’ at Liverpool Cathedral
It was a chance conversation with a member of staff in one of our local shops that set me thinking. She had attended one of the ‘Cream Classical’ evenings at the Cathedral last month, a stunning and very popular spectacle of music and light. With great enthusiasm she told me that, when the choir appeared elevated on a balcony above the stage she had a ‘deep spiritual experience’. Wonderful! “We’re in the business of deep spiritual experiences at Liverpool Cathedral” I told her. It is what we do! We want people to encounter the God who knows and loves them – a true experience of ‘other’. You cannot get deeper than that. So I suggested that she might like to come to the ‘Angels are coming’ son et lumiere in December – see below.
In the uncertain and unsettling times that we are entering into, I sense that many people are looking to places like Liverpool Cathedral for those places of constancy and hope. And this Cathedral has provided both of those in the past and we need to offer them now and in the future. It is part of our generous offer to those come through our doors physically and on-line. Where can we help the light of love to break through the fog of unknowing and trepidation?
[As an aside, it is worth adding that, at the same time as we are seeking to be generous, we are painfully aware of our need for others to be generous to us. The finanical crisis caused by the dramatic uplift in our energy costs is making us nervous, to say the least! We are making savings wherever we can, but we are so grateful to those who do support us financially. But if you can in any way help us tackle this new challenge, either with a one-off donation or with tax-efficient pledged giving, we will be enourmously grateful.]
As we journey through this month, leading up to Advent and then Christmas, we’d love you to come and be open to a deep experience of ‘other’ at Liverpool Cathedral. In amongst the doom-filled headlines which assualt us each and every day, this season of the church year offers so many different opportunities to let in a few shafts of divine light amongst the mist and gloom! Here are some:
- The choir singing John Rutter’s Requiem in the context of a Communion service this Sunday afternoon: https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/events-calendar/rutter-requiem/
A ‘requiem’ sounds as though it may not lift our spirits. But powerfully it acknowledges grief and loss in all its forms and offers us true hope.
- The special services in Advent, starting with the well-loved “From Darkness to Light” service on the afternoon of Sunday 27th November, which is unique to this Cathedral. For more details, go to: https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk/darkness-to-light-service
- The ‘Angels are Coming’ son et lumiere installation in early December:
The doors of our Cathedral are open to everyone, whether or not you come regularly or infrequently, or have never come through them. God shows no partiality. God takes us as we are and does not reserve ‘deep spiritual experiences’ for an elite ‘holy club’ or the ‘in crowd’. Some of the most powerful passages in the Bible are when God encounters those who feel far from him, or even unworthy of him. All that God asks of us is that we give him the opportunity to encounter us. Then the light can shine in, and often surprise us!
With good wishes
Canon for Mission and Faith Development