Celebrating 50 Years
50 years ago today Bishop Augustine Harris presided at the Solemn Mass for the Opening of our Cathedral. The Prime Minister at the time was Harold Wilson and he and Edward Heath, Leader of the Opposition along with The Duke of Norfolk, representing Her Majesty the Queen, were the principal civic guests. In attendance were five Cardinals and Archbishops and Bishops from every continent. The opening date was chosen to coincide with the Feast of Pentecost so rather than focussing on the calendar anniversary we will have our main Jubilee Celebratory Mass on Pentecost Day 4th June. However, today is still a day to celebrate and give thanks for this Cathedral on the anniversary of the consecration and dedication of the building as a place of Catholic Worship – a great deal of faith and Christian witness has been lived out within these walls over the years since the opening may our future be as blessed as our past.
There is a considerable amount of merchandise for sale to mark our Golden Jubilee. The Choir will be launching their Jubilee CD this weekend with recent recordings of a lot of the music that was used at the opening ceremonies and also other favourite pieces. Having had a listening preview I can recommend it as one of the best that they have produced. There are also mugs, badges and tote bags as commemorative items on sale in the Gift Shop.
Next Friday is the annual LightNight throughout the City. Here at the Cathedral we have a special Projection/ Musical event running from 7-9.30pm. This event is a co operation between the Music Department and Projection Artist, Andy McKeown. There will be a constantly changing projection of images of the Cathedral and its history onto the sanctuary whilst the choir will be singing choral pieces at intervals throughout the evening. In comparison to many of the LightNight events this should create a reflective and meditative atmosphere within the building and yet also be quite an awe inspiring spectacle. The time to come along will be in the later portion of the evening as it gets dark. The final half hour of the projections will be just accompanied by spoken word tailing off to silence.
The Listening Post Project is due to have their audio units in situ this coming week. These include memories and interviews with a whole range of people offering a listening trail of memories and stories ranging from the opening of the Cathedral to the present day. These will be placed along Hope Street in the various venues with the only change being a transfer of the one that was to be in the Unity Theatre being transferred to Liverpool Cathedral due to the redevelopment work taking place at the theatre. There will be a thank you gathering in the Gibberd Room next Thursday evening at 5pm for all those who have been involved in the project.
Both our Primary Schools have recently announced appointments of new Head Teachers. Mrs Lisa Salters, formerly Deputy Head, has been appointed Head Teacher of St Vincent’s Primary. She took up her new post at the beginning of the summer term following the retirement of Mr Philip Stuart. Martin Davies, at present Head Teacher of Blackmoor Park Juniors, will take on the position as Head of St Nicholas Primary in the Autumn Term – his father was a previous head of the school. We wish them both our best wishes and assure them of the support of both our parish communities.