Which is it?
The concept of My/Your/Our Cathedral was initially created for a special edition of Cathedral Notes, published in time for, and distributed widely at, Diocesan Synod last year. The idea has subsequently morphed into the logo used above and highly visible on the temporary fencing on Pennington Terrace. In this year of preparation for 2019, marking as it does the Sesquicentenary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Cathedral, we have a great story to tell. But there is surely even more to look forward to.
People who worship here regularly, those who have put their names on the parish roll and receive the weekly eNews, will likely identify with the concept of My Cathedral. This is the sacred space where I am fed on Word and Sacrament. This is the place where I meet God and God meets me (not that that is ever exclusive or only happens in a church). Here I know that I am loved, cherished, special and unique in the eyes of God.
The Cathedral is not only for those who worship here regularly, but is the ‘mother church’ of the Diocese of Adelaide and the Province of South Australia. It holds the seat (cathedra) of the Archbishop and as such belongs to all the people of the Diocese. This is an important message to get out to those Anglicans who find their belonging in other parishes, schools and places of worship. And there is also a real sense in which the Cathedral is ‘yours’ to the people of the city and state. The doors are open daily to visitors and entry is free. To those who think of it as ‘My’ Cathedral, the challenge is to be so welcoming that people will feel safe and want to come in.
One of the great visions Augustus Short, the first bishop of Adelaide, was that all people would be able to identify the Cathedral as ‘ours’. Adelaideans have a tremendous sense of pride in St Peter’s Cathedral and it features regularly as the backdrop to news broadcasts, cricket matches and the elite international cyclists flashing past recently. In an age when people appear to be continuing to search for meaning in their lives, St Peter’s Cathedral stands proudly as an icon of God’s love for all the people of our city, not only those who claim to be disciples of Christ. As such it is always a joy to welcome people on to the holy ground of the Cathedral and send them out, we hope and pray, as people who have been touched by the Spirit of God. As one of my dean colleagues used to say, come as tourists, go as pilgrims.
Imagine the Future
What will the future look like? Dare we dream of a future for St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide? The work happening to the Cathedral in 2018 (restoration of the organ, access drive off Pennington Terrace to facilitate high level maintenance, replacing of roof slates) is one indication of our daring to imagine the future. Even more important is the building of God’s church through the changed lives of people. This comes about through discipleship, active participation and generous living and giving on many different levels – and all because God first loved us.
As you read through our website, be encouraged in your own journey into God in the magnificent and sacred place we call My/Your/Our Cathedral.