It was a homecoming of sorts for the new Dean of Sheffield, the Very Revd Canon Abigail Thompson when she was installed in the Cathedral this weekend, the place where she was ordained and married.
New Dean of Sheffield on the space to mourn and the power of music.
More than 400 guests gathered to welcome her and hear her first sermon which she used to speak of the losses experienced during the pandemic, the need for space to mourn, and the power of music to express our deepest emotions and change the course of history.
She said one of her priorities was to focus on mission through music. And her installation service saw the choirs of Sheffield Cathedral, Doncaster and Rotherham Minsters come together for the first time since the pandemic. Her former choir performed too, the Cantamus Girls Choir from Mansfield, where she was a member between 1988 and 1993.
In her first sermon she said she was looking forward to the Cathedral’s Christmas programme (see the Cathedral Events link below) which includes an art and light show and a Christmas Tree Festival, and to uphold the daily prayers said in the Cathedral for local people and their concerns. And she is keen to work with the Archer Project, a charity supporting the homeless which operates from the Cathedral building.
Abi was previously parish priest at Clifton in Rotherham, and Dean of Women’s Ministry in the Diocese of Sheffield.
She joins Sheffield Cathedral from St Alban’s Cathedral in Hertfordshire where she was the Sub Dean.