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Autumn-Winter 2023 Newsletter

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Editorial By the time our members receive this latest newsletter autumn will be well advanced, with Christmas appearing over the horizon, all too soon for some! Certainly shops and other retail outlets already have their Christmas displays on show and our own cathedral shop will have had its Christmas preview. Change and progress are constant features of the cathedral’s life at present, with a number of notable appointments being made which will enhance its ministry, both to the regular congregation and throughout the diocese. A major recent event has been the installation of Right Reverend Stephen Conway as Bishop of Lincoln-see page 2. Our Interim Dean, Rev’d Canon Dr Simon Jones, will be coming to the end of his time with us on Christmas Day and the Precentor, Rev’d Canon Nick Brown will become Interim Dean from then on. The process for appointing the next substantive Dean is underway, with interviews scheduled for next February. We were very pleased to welcome Dean Simon to speak at the first of our re-instated afternoon talks. He has kindly offered to make his reflections available as a feature in our newsletter, but pressure of work has meant that these will now be part of the next publication. I, and two other members of our council had the opportunity of attending the biannual conference of the Friends of Cathedrals, Abbeys and Greater Churches last October, where we were able to compare how different associations react not only to the challenges, but also the opportunities of running organisations like ours. We are conscious that the offering to its members from their association has been limited since covid and I am indebted to the ladies on our social committee, who have not only planned a series of talks over the next months, but also an annual visit due to take place next May-again, details below.

The Conference of the Friends of Cathedrals, Abbeys and Greater Churches

Following a gap due to the pandemic, this conference finally took place on the weekend beginning 13th October. We were made very welcome by the Friends of Hereford Cathedral, who had arranged a full and enjoyable programme, with stimulating speakers and opportunities for meaningful discussion. Thirty associations were represented, of which twenty four came from cathedrals and the remaining six from abbeys and minsters. Alan Read, our Vice Chair and Paul Pinchbeck, our membership secretary attended as well as myself. We were welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant of Hereford, but sadly the Dean of Hereford was unable to attend, due to personal circumstances. Subjects covered included investment strategies for Friends’ associations, the import of the new Cathedrals Measure and, for some light relief, a humorous take on the Church of England by Quentin Letts, columnist and Parliamentary sketch writer for the Daily Mail. Of possibly the greatest benefit to us was a very full discussion which took place on the Saturday afternoon, with delegates from different associations sharing their strategies for growth. We were pleased to note that our membership was one of the largest out of those associations represented at the conference and, unlike some, was maintaining its membership numbers. Following a drinks reception in the Great Hall of the Bishop’s Palace and the Conference Dinner, the evening concluded with a highly entertaining speech from the Dean Emeritus of Hereford, the Very Rev’d Michael Tavinor. As well as the business of the conference, we were able to attend Choral Evensong in the cathedral on both days and an organ recital on the Saturday afternoon. Members will know that Hereford Cathedral’s greatest treasure is its ‘Mappa Mundi,’ which we were able to visit in its exhibition centre. Many will also know that its authorship originated in Lincolnshire, under one Richard of Haldingham and Lafford, (near Sleaford) and that Lincoln Cathedral is well represented on the map! The conference ended after Sung Eucharist on the Sunday, and the next one will be taking place in Liverpool in two years’ time.

Welcome to our new Bishop On Saturday 11th Novem- ber the Right Reverend Stephen Conway was

installed and enthroned as the seventy-third Bishop of Lincoln. Bishop Conway is already well

known to us, as he has been oversee- ing the diocese following the retirement of his predecessor Bishop Lowson. The service followed a pattern that has endured through the history of the Cathedral and Diocese of Lincoln, although with some variations as the ‘ancient and laudable customs’ of the Cathedral Church have developed. Our Friends’ constitution holds the Bishop of Lincoln as its President, and we hope to enjoy a positive and ‘Friendly’ relationship with him.

Afternoon Talks Thanks to the efforts of our reconstituted events committee, we have already enjoyed the first of these events. By the time this newsletter has been published, a further talk, by retired Dean’s Verger John Campbell, entitled ‘Close Encounters of an Ecclesiastical Kind,’ will have taken place. A third talk has been arranged for next year on Tuesday, 6th February, at 2.45pm, when Elaine Johnson will be taking as her subject ‘The Home Front in Lincoln and the surrounding villages in World War Two.’ The talks have been well attended by an enthusiastic audience which has expressed its appreciation, not only to the speakers, but also for the high standard of the refreshments provided at the beginning of each afternoon!

Annual Visit The Events Committee is arranging a day visit to the Welbeck Estate, in Nottinghamshire, on Wednesday 15th May next year. This is the first Friends’ visit for some years, so going somewhere fairly local was thought appropriate. There is no admission charge to the est

ate, which has a high quality farm shop, the Harley gallery and Café, and the historic Portland Collection. There are numerous picturesque walks, leisurely or otherwise, on the estate. The coach will leave the Lincoln Hotel at 10.00 am, returning at approximately 3.30pm. Tickets, to cover transport costs, are priced at £12.50, and will be available from the Friends’ office, which is open on Wednesday mornings.

Membership Rates Members will be pleased to know that the Council has decided not to raise annual subscriptions at present. However Life Membership will now cost £300 per person, although two life- time memberships at the same address will cost £500. There is no age related reduction any more! Our membership secretary has looked at other cathedrals’ Lifetime Membership rates and ours compare very favourably against many of them.

A Reminder that there is no Friends Christmas Card this year, but previous ones, priced at £1.00 per pack of ten, can be purchased from the office.

A Further Reminder Carols by Candlelight’ tickets are selling well for both evenings, but plenty are still available and we have a large space to fill! The Cathedral Choir will be performing an exciting and varied

programme of carols, interspersed with organ pieces, and, of course, audience participation! Don’t forget hat a pre-concert dinner can be booked directly at the Cathedral Café, 01522 561654 or email: Concert tickets need to be booked through Eventbrite, on the Cathedral website. The concerts begin at 7.00 pm on both evenings.

Forthcoming events and dates: Tuesday 12th December and Wednesday 13th December at 7.00 pm. Carols by Candlelight in the Cathedral Nave Sunday 28th January at 3,45 pm Music Celebration Evensong, with presentation of Friends’ Medallions Tuesday 6th February at 2.45 pm. Afternoon Talk by Elaine Johnson in the Old Deanery Visitors’ Centre (refreshments from 2.00 pm) Wednesday 15th May visit to Welbeck, leaving at 10.00 am and returning at 3.30 pm Saturday 24th June 2023 at 2.00 pm. Annual General Meeting in the Old Deanery Visitors’ Centre

Wishing all our members a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year

Lincoln Cathedral from Vicars' Court

Copyright the Friends of Lincoln Cathedral. Compiled by Michael Belcher and printed by APS Printers, Lincoln

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