I tend to keep personal stuff and church politics out of this blog, but there are moments when it is used for reflection amidst the hurly burly of Cathedral life. (One would like to think that a Dean’s ministry is one characterised by much calm reflection – reflection there is, but it often seems that it happens in a bubbling cauldron and anything but a calm!)
That said, I am posting here a note written to keep our Cathedral people abreast of events that affect us – and thoughts and prayers are invited for this beautiful, troubled and troubling diocese, especially remembering that this is the context in which we are now looking for a new bishop.
On Tuesday there was a ’bracing’ meeting of our Cathedral Greater Chapter with the Diocesan Council to discuss the place of the Cathedral in the ‘reorganisation’ of the diocese and the intention to have the number of Anglican parishes (including the cathedral) in Dunedin reduce to four.
A question is whether to keep the Cathedral or not and the debate disclosed uncertainty as to why we should have a cathedral and the value (or not) that it represented.
One clerical member of Council went so far as to question the value of the ministry of the Cathedral to the city, pointing out that this ministry did not benefit the diocese.
For those who heard them, these were memorable words and will not easily be forgotten. In contrast to this our Greater Chapter spoke with generous purpose, clarity, conviction and unanimity.
The diocese is going through difficult times – remember how Dickens put it in ‘Two Cities’, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – perhaps we should expect some unfortunate behaviour on the way.
Where do we go from here? It has been agreed that three representatives from the Cathedral will meet with three from Diocesan Council to talk further. We have no more information than that at this stage. Our community will be kept informed. Keep at your prayers, please; hold the life of this diocese, its strengths and its flaws, gently before God; likewise hold the life of this cathedral – all of us, before God. Grace and peace, ...