Cathedral diary: August 2019

By Canon Anthony O'Brien

There is a marked change in the life of the Cathedral from the last week of July to the beginning of September. Many staff are away on holiday; choirs and the many voluntary groups that are here throughout the year all disappear for a few weeks; and for a short space of time the diary is virtually free of meetings. This doesn’t mean that nothing happens – just that there is a slight change in the pace of life and we become busier with weddings, cruise liner tourists, visiting choirs and contractors carrying out repairs.
 
At present there are seven different cruise ships booked to berth at Liverpool for a day during the month of August. There has been a marked increase in recent years, not just with the popularity of a cruise as a holiday choice but also in Liverpool being picked as a major cruise destination. What this means for us here is that many coachloads of tourists arrive, all within a short space of time, for a 30-minute in-and-out visit and then off to the next destination – for which they pay a considerable trip fee to the cruise liner. It’s probably not the best way to visit any attraction, let alone a Cathedral, but it has the benefit of being organised and at the end of the day the major attractions are ticked off on the what-to-see list. As you can probably tell, cruising wouldn’t be my holiday of choice.
 
We also have further work scheduled on the Cathedral Lantern during August, as well as work on the sanctuary to enable us to remove the temporary gothic Bishops Chair and replace it with the chair that is original to the building, incorporating certain modifications that need to be made.