I’m a real fan of cathedrals. I’ve been going to Carlisle Cathedral for several years, mainly as a chorister parent, but it has become far more than that to me, it’s a refuge and an oasis of peace. Evensong is a beautiful way to end the day, and the Eucharist service is full of depth and meaning. There is a committed community of people who work there, run the services, maintain the music tradition, and keep the civic activities and the building alive.
I was there a week or so ago, and looked around during the service, and looking at the sparse number of people there. I was reflecting that there are two types of people connected with the Cathedral. Those that keep these activities going, and those that attend the services, most evenings for Evensong with a full choir, there are only a handful in the congregation, and those attending are at the older end of the spectrum, and are definitely diminishing in number.
I can see a time in the not so distant future where the Cathedral still has it’s choir, it’s ministers, it’s liturgy, it’s civic role but no-one goes anymore, well maybe they’ll be a few of us there, but you know what I mean. A cathedral does have a different role to a local church, it has connections and opportunities in cities that other churches don’t, but I think that just its history and civic role can keep it going.
And that will be so sad for so many reasons.
Mind you it’s been there for 900 years so I suppose I’d better not write it off yet.
Maybe you should pop in and visit before it …well who knows.