This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration – the moment when Christ was revealed to the three Apostles in full splendour as the Son of God on the mountain. The appearance of Moses and Elijah are representations of the Law and the Prophets depicting all that has gone before within the Old Testament and symbolising that all of this is fulfilled in the person of Jesus. In his Gospel prologue St John bears testimony to the fact that ‘we have seen his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of God.’ The voice from heaven challenges us to ‘Listen to him’ and in imitation of St Peter we should seek to adore Jesus and want to ‘make tents’ to spend time to know Him, to love Him and to follow Him.
This year there was only one man ordained to the priesthood for the Liverpool Diocese, Fr Michael Barrett, a former head teacher, who will be serving as an assistant priest in the parishes at Longton and Penwortham. You may have read in the papers of an amusing incident following ordinations in the Cathedral at Cardiff. Seven Seminarians in cassocks and full clericals decided to go for a drink following the celebrations and were told by the doorman at the pub in the vicinity of the Cathedral that they didn’t allow admission to stag doo’s and groups in fancy dress. Eventually the manager came out realising that they could be genuine and they were invited in and given a drink on the house. Archbishop George Stack commented that he occasionally went for a drink there and had never had any problem getting in! It is a bit worrying if people now can’t distinguish the difference between those in fancy dress and the real thing!
Radio Four had an item of news this week concerning women feeling under pressure in certain workplace situations to wear high heels, and also reported on the consequent harmful effects of this. You will be glad to hear that that has never been an issue here in Cathedral House. However I wish there could be similar concerns raised regarding the wearing of flip flops. The onset of summer brings many seasonal changes and along with it the dreaded plop plopping of the sound of the flip flop up and down the office and sacristy corridors. Perhaps it is because this is synonymous with a quieter time of the year that it becomes more noticeable. The humble flip flop designed originally as beachwear has now inveigled itself into everyday wear and been adapted for both sexes. Maybe I am a lone voice in bemoaning this gradual encroachment on decent footwear – the rantings of an ageing cleric or does anyone else share a similar view? The problem is that when I raise the issue trying to suggest that such footwear can’t be good for ones feet I am faced with the reply they are not flip flops but sandals and that Jesus would have worn sandals. So it looks like summer floppiness is here to stay and as they say if you can’t beat them join them and I might even invest in a noisier pair!
On that note it is probably time to take a break from the Cathedral Record for the next few weeks. Let’s hope we get some decent warm weather during August and the full newsletter will stage a comeback in September.
Canon Anthony O’Brien