For as long as I can remember we have had to learn to cope with road closures affecting certain access roads to the Cathedral on the occasional summer weekends for events in the City, but we are having to live with traffic problems of a different scale over recent months. Currently Brownlow Hill is closed to traffic going into the City Centre from the corner of Mount Pleasant which means that traffic is diverted around the Cathedral with congestion outside at the peak times of the day. This is compounded off a weekend with closures to Crown Street channelling even more traffic in this direction. This is making access difficult by car for some of our Masses and services during the week and having a significant effect on getting to and from the Cathedral at busier times of the day and more noticeably at weekends from the north side of the City. The Brownlow Hill works also affected vehicular and pedestrian access to the Crypt for the months prior to Christmas.
New developments and repairs are important for the future of the area but it does seem like poor planning to have Clarence Street, Brownlow Hill and Crown Street all closed to traffic at the same time. Let’s hope that there are no further local closures to take place whilst the existing ones are in force as that will have the effect of bringing everything to a standstill.
One of my scheduled meetings for next week is with the year six class from St Nicholas Primary in relation to their maths project. Part of the project focusses on how maths is necessary in different work situations. I have been asked to show them how maths has practical applications in the Cathedral, which is a nice change from the things I normally get asked to do.
When the request was first made I think it was envisaged that it would just be a talk to the class with some examples given. My expectations are quite different to this – I’m hoping they are going to get busy and update some of our statistics and other than pay the bills, work out our income and expenditure figures etc.
Next Sunday is the Feast of the Presentation, Candlemas, recalling the Gospel moment in the temple when Simeon declared Jesus as the ‘Light to enlighten all peoples and the glory of thy people Israel’. There will be a simple procession and blessing of candles within the Cathedral at the start of the Solemn Mass for the Feast.
The theme for Christian Unity this year was ‘Unusual kindness’ along with a call to pray together it was also a reminder of our call to work together as churches to help and support those in need. Last weekend there was a joint agency conference on human trafficking describing the nature of the problem locally and ways in which we can all help in the fight to eradicate this mistreatment and enslaving of vulnerable people. There will be a follow up meeting to this at St Vincent’s church on 7th February from 6.30-7.30pm. It is hoped that parishioners from across our pastoral area will come along to this and support this initiative and find simple ways of working together to help combat this horrific crime.
Canon Anthony O’Brien