This week the Dean and I are interviewing for the position of Sacristan. This is an important, integral and unique role in the life of any parish, and none more so than in the Cathedral. With over 20 Masses per week, not including all the extra liturgies such as weddings and requiems, a Cathedral and a Crypt sacristy to manage it is a big role to fill. It has not been easy to draw up a complete job description as there are so many integral yet small details needed, so many skills that you can’t put into words, and so many qualities required that make up the complete Sacristan!
One of the tasks that the new Sacristan will be asked to do is to nurture and develop our already established team of volunteer Sacristans who really are ‘unsung heroes’ and do so much more than what they are asked to do. These volunteers are dependable, reliable and are quick to respond to the daily needs of our Cathedral and the people we serve. Since the departure of the Sisters from the Convent who used to look after the Sacristies, Alison Lamb bravely took on this role and did an excellent job, but decided before Christmas that she wanted to further develop her skills and talents in other areas and asked us to find a replacement for her. We wish Alison well in her future career but know that she is only an email away if we need her guidance and advice. With so many roles at the Cathedral, and I am sure other places too, it’s the ‘knowledge’ about the way things happen, and why they happen that way that you simply can’t expect others to get straight away. So say a prayer on Tuesday that we are able to make an appointment for this crucial role.
One person whom I am sure will be watching down over us who would have had a vested interest in the interviews is Sr Carole Mallock. Sr Carole was one of the Sisters who maintained the Sacristies and did so much around the Cathedral. After a long illness Sr Carole died in Christopher Grange this week. Her Requiem Mass will be at 12noon next Thursday, 13 February, at Christopher Grange, Youens Way, East Prescot Road L14 2EW. Sr Carole was a great character and was loved by many. On her days off she used to walk for miles in all kinds of weather and she used to regale us with tales of her brother who was a famous British racing driver and in whom she was very proud. Around June Sr Carole would start making candles from all the old wax, that she intended to sell at the Christmas Car Boot sale. One year she had about 100 in all different colours but she failed to sell very many at all. In order to keep her spirits high I recall all the people who worked on the Cathedral stall having to buy them from her and she ended up making quite a bit of money for the Cathedral. May she rest in peace.
By the time you read this we will have had our 3rd meeting about the Synod themes and during next week we move on to the 4th and final theme which is ‘Building Community, nurturing belonging.’ Questions that we will be asking at our meeting on Saturday 29 February will include ‘How do we ensure the Cathedral is inclusive and welcoming?’ ‘How do we reach out to those who feel excluded, on the margins, weak and vulnerable?’ ‘How can we strengthen and support the home, school and Cathedral partnership?’ Your views are vital to this Synod 2020 and I would encourage you to come along if you can make it, even if you have not been able to make the other sessions.
Claire Hanlon – Assistant to the Dean