Lichfield Cathedral has launched its New Year’s Resolution – a two year campaign to be a source of hope and healing following the impact of the pandemic.
Hope and Healing. Lichfield’s New Year’s Resolution for people following the impact of the pandemic.
And it will open its doors this Wednesday (8 Dec) for all those who will find Christmas difficult this year.
From 6pm to 9pm, space will be created for those who wish to light candles, listen to reflective music, write the name of a loved one on a bauble or lantern, or to simply ‘be’.
The evening will end with a short service of Compline, or Night Prayer around 8.30pm.
A spokesperson for the Cathedral said,
“There are many people who will be dreading Christmas this year as the result of bereavement or illness or loneliness or financial difficulties.
“Surrounded by Christmas advertisements showing the perfect family, or trying to negotiate the shops playing nostalgic music, it can be hard to find a space in which to be open about how we are really feeling.
“Lichfield Cathedral is a big, ancient building which has held the fears and sadness, as well as the joys, of its people for centuries and a safe space in which to be quiet and to remember those we love, without having to force a smile.”
It is part of Lichfield Cathedral’s major two year campaign to help in the recovery following the pandemic and to ensure that the Cathedral remains at the heart of the community as a source of hope and healing for the future.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber said:
“The Covid pandemic has been, and continues to be, one of the most difficult challenges that Lichfield Cathedral has witnessed in over a thousand years.
“We are all too aware that both within the Cathedral community and within the City and wider region the Cathedral serves, there has been great hardship. Together we have witnessed bereavement and continued illness, social isolation and financial hardship, and education, jobs and opportunities have all been disrupted.
“Here at the Cathedral we want to be able to offer tangible support and resources to the communities around us, as together we set out on the road to recovery.”
“The Cathedral aims to help with bereavement and loss and to provide a safe space in which people can process the effects of the pandemic in a building where the hopes and fears of generations have been contained and held,’ he added.
As a Kickstart employer, the Cathedral has already started to provide placements for young people to enable them to gain work experience and is seeking to develop specialist skills to support and help them in their recovery.
It is also celebrating its musical heritage and the opportunities that affords for children and young people to recover and grow through singing, aiming to ensure there are no barriers – social, economic or gender-based – to prevent young people from enjoying such opportunities.
It has committed itself to ensuring the cathedral is secure for centuries to come by repairing weather-damaged stonework and making sure the central spire is no longer at risk of collapse and will stand tall for centuries to come.
And the Cathedral plans to recreate the shrine of Saint Chad, the Cathedral’s patron saint, whose original shrine made Lichfield a place of pilgrimage for those seeking hope and healing,
The Cathedral has already raised £1.1m towards its target of £2 million – and on top of financial donations it also hopes to encourage 50,000 hours of volunteer time to support the local community and welcome them through the doors.
The Dean continued,
“With no regular funding from the government, Lichfield Cathedral relies on the generosity of donors to help us financially to meet our costs, and the good will and hard work of volunteers who work tirelessly to support us and who will help us turn these ambitious plans into action.
“We are hoping that many will share our vision and will join us as we seek to be a very real resource in helping our communities to recover from the Covid pandemic.”