Weekly Chapter Letter

Weekly Chapter Letter

First Sunday of Advent
Sunday 3 December 2023


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News and Notices

8.30 a.m. Holy Communion (BCP): The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the First Sunday in Advent begin on page 47 of the Book of Common Prayer.

Welcome: A very warm welcome to the Cathedral, particularly if you are a visitor or here for the first time. We would be delighted to meet you so do please make yourself known to one of the clergy after services. Welcomers are available over coffee after the Cathedral Eucharist; please do seek them out if you have questions or simply to chat.

Today is Advent Sunday, 3rd December: The Advent Procession with Carols is at 5.00 p.m. (please be seated by 4.45 p.m.), with readings, traditional congregational Advent carols, and music for Advent, including works by Jonathan Dove, John Rutter, Joanna Marsh, and others. The service is invariably beautiful, and the perfect way to begin the season of Advent.

On the horizon: Advent Sunday falls this year on 3rd December. The Advent Procession with Carols is at 5.00 p.m. (please be seated by 4.45 p.m.), with readings, traditional congregational Advent carols, and music for Advent, including works by Jonathan Dove, John Rutter, Joanna Marsh, and others. The service is invariably beautiful, and the perfect way to begin the season of Advent.

Dates for Diary:

This year’s Cathedral Carol Service will be held at 6.00 p.m. on Saturday 23rd December. Also note that there will be a Carols at the Crib service at 5.15 p.m. on Sunday 24th December as well as the Eucharist of Christmas Night at 11.00 p.m.

On Wednesday 13th December, all are very welcome to attend other carol services being held at Wells Cathedral – the Age UK Somerset Carol Service at 11.00 a.m. and the Women’s Institute Carol Service at 2.30 p.m., both held in the Nave.

The Chapter of Wells

Handel’s Messiah
Saturday 9th December, 7.00 p.m.
Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society are joined by a stellar line-up of soloists and the wonderful period orchestra, Music for Awhile, led by Maggie Faultless. Alexander Hamilton conducts the annual performance of Handel’s inspiring setting of classic biblical texts, one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Tickets are available here.

Events Team

Coffee Morning: The pre-Christmas Coffee Morning has moved from its normal slot on the second Tuesday of the month because of a clash with another event. So please do come and join us this coming Tuesday, 5th December, at 10.00 a.m. in the Cathedral Café for coffee/tea, mince pies and good company. All are welcome.

Canon Emeritus Rosalind Paul

Congratulations to the Cathedral Team for winning bronze in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2023/2024 for both the Large Attraction of the Year and Café Tearoom of the Year. Thank you to all involved.

The Chapter of Wells

Christmas Holiday Activities: We are very much looking forward to welcoming families to our Christmas holiday activities this December! Come and find kings and shepherds, stars and angels on our Christmas trail around the Cathedral – then get creative and make a festive decoration to take home.

  • Monday 18th December: A Host of Angels – Make an adorable angel decoration to hang on your Christmas tree.
  • Tuesday 19th December: Colourful Candlelight – Transform a jam jar into a beautiful candle holder, inspired by the Cathedral’s stained glass.
  • Wednesday 20th December: Festive Foliage – Use natural materials to make a festive centrepiece to adorn your table this Christmas.

Book online at wellscathedral.org.uk/holidays or drop in on the day (subject to availability).
Sessions at 10.00 a.m., 11.15 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. £2.15 per child / £1.10 if eligible for free school meals. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Christmas Shopping Ideas: It’s that time of year again and the Cathedral Shop is looking fantastic ready for the Christmas season. We now have on display a wide range of Christmas gifts, cards and decorations to suit many tastes. This year we have Wells Cathedral bespoke Advent Calendars, baubles, cross decorations, Christmas cards and 2024 calendars.

To celebrate we are joining in with ‘Museum Shop Sunday’ on Sunday 26th November (opening 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.). That day everything in store will be 10% off. For museum shop Sunday over 2,000 visitor attractions worldwide will be coming together to celebrate with special events and promotions in store and online. Click here for details of other attractions.

In December we will be continuing our tradition of discount Wednesdays on the lead up to Christmas, with 10% off everything in the shop on Wednesdays 6th, 13th and 20th December. Merry Christmas!

Cathedral Shop

Christmas cards depicting Cathedral settings, painted by Cathedral Reader, Caroline Byrne, for sale in the north Transept, over coffee, on Sunday 26th November and Sunday 3rd December, in aid of the charity, Charis Refugees.

Caroline Byrne, Cathedral Reader

Warm Rail and Warm Space for the Second Year: The Cathedral is offering a warm space in the Cathedral Café together with a warm ‘rail’. This warm ‘rail’ is already in place by the Cathedral Shop. You can donate warm clothing and people are taking warm clothing as they need it, free of charge. The ‘warm space’ in the Café is offered on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday afternoons between 2.00 p.m and 4.00 p.m. and includes a free cup of tea or filter coffee. There is an opportunity for you to donate towards this as well when you visit the Café if you wish to. Please do contribute and spread the word for anyone who may need either or both offers.

Jackie Croft, Chief Operating Officer

Quiz Night Returns
Friday 5th January 2024
A Quiz Night on for all in the Cathedral Community – staff, volunteers, Friends and singers. Click here for more information or email maureen.boylan@london.ac.uk or harrisonmandt@gmail.com

Taste and See – 6.00 p.m. Monday 11th December: Half an hour of silent contemplative prayer. Following a brief introduction, an opportunity to step aside from the noise and confusion of the world, and be still. Please note the change of venue as December’s Taste and See will be held in the Chapter Room and all are most welcome. The following session will be on Monday 8th January in the Lady Chapel. Further sessions and venues will be confirmed in the new year.

Mary Lewis, Priest Vicar

The Souls of our Shoes – A journey into and out of Domestic Abuse
An exhibition by the Mothers’ Union in the Bath & Wells Diocese is in the Undercroft at Wells Cathedral until Saturday 9th December 2023.
The Mothers Union team in Scotland developed the idea of using shoes to identify and raise awareness about what happens mentally and emotionally when Domestic Violence occurs in secret. Shoes accompanied with a simple statement of how the wearer felt on wearing those shoes, highlighted the horrific impact of domestic abuse in a new way. A smart eye-catching pair of shoes worn to work, would cover up the feeling of stupidity installed by the repetition of phrases used at home. A tatty pair of worn-out shoes might be all she was allowed to wear at home. The exhibition is now being used throughout the UK and Ireland by other members.

Letter of Thanks received: Somerset Community Foundation has contacted Wells Cathedral to thank the Cathedral community for supporting their charity in 2023. The donation for £223.82 was very gratefully received last week.

RIP: We are sad to announce that Pamela Pye passed away this week. Pamela and her husband, Kenneth, moved to Wells from London over 40 years ago because they so loved the Cathedral and city. As well as being part of the congregation they were life-long members of the Friends, and Pamela sang with, and was Membership Secretary for, Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society and also a Cathedral Guide between 1989 and 2021. Pamela and Kenneth will also be remembered for donating the altar frontal with the penguin! Pamela is now reunited with her beloved Kenneth and will be greatly missed.

Pamela’s funeral service will be on Wednesday 20th December at 1.30 p.m. at St Thomas’s Church, followed by a private family service at the Crematorium at 2.30 p.m., then afternoon tea at The Swan for anyone attending the St Thomas’s service who wishes to go along.

May she rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Amnesty International – Write for Rights Campaign: As part of the Amnesty International ‘Write for Rights’ campaign this month, members of the public are invited to sign festive greeting cards to encourage support for human rights victims around the world. The signing will take place between 10.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 9th December in Penniless Porch (between the Cathedral and the Marketplace).

The campaign is in support of the international Human Rights Day on Sunday 10th  December. The cards will be provided but donations for Amnesty International’s work with prisoners of conscience would be appreciated.

More details about the Wells branch of Amnesty’s prisoner of conscience, Alaa Abdel Fattah, imprisoned in Egypt, whose case for release is supported by the British government, will be included in the January 2024 E-Newsletter. To find out more about the work of Amnesty in Wells, please email jjrendel@yahoo.com.

Reverend Ed Standhaft, Cathedral Amnesty International liaison

Christian Aid: On Wednesday 13th December, do come along at any time between 11.00 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. for a chance to sing carols in the Market Place and raise much needed funds for Christian Aid. All are very welcome!

Adrian I’Anson, Christian Aid

Safeguarding at Wells Cathedral: Wells Cathedral is committed to the safeguarding of all people. For details please click here.
You can report a concern using the same online link or by contacting Joanne Austin, Diocesan and Safeguarding case worker, on 01749 588905, email joanne.austin@bathwells.anglican.org or Ben Goodhind, Diocesan and Cathedral Safeguarding Manager, 01749 588917, email ben.goodhind@bathwells.anglican.org

Jackie Croft, Chief Operating Officer and Chapter Clerk

Pastoral Care: Pastoral care, including the provision of home communion, is available from our team of pastoral visitors. Visits are co-ordinated by Wendy Haslam. If you have pastoral matters to raise or would like a visit, please get in touch by emailing pastoralcare@wellscathedral.org.uk or call the Cathedral office 01749 674483.

Cathedral Pastoral Care Team

Cathedral Prayer List: The Cathedral has a prayer list which is used daily at Morning Liturgy. If you are unable to attend that service but would like to pray for those who are unwell at home, please collect a list from the Virgers’ office.

Mary Bide, Acting Precentor


This Week in the Cathedral

The Acting Precentor is in Residence.

Monday – Friday (inclusive)
The Morning Liturgy is celebrated at 8.00 a.m. in the Lady Chapel

8.50 a.m. Wells Cathedral School Service Nave
5.15 p.m. Choral Evensong Quire (Girl Choristers and Vicars Choral)

10.00 a.m.Coffee Morning The Loft Café
5.15 p.m. Choral Evensong Quire (Junior Choristers and Vicars Choral)
7.30 p.m. Crispin School Carol Service

6 WEDNESDAY: Nicholas, bishop, c. 326
10.00 a.m. Eucharist (Order I, Traditional) Lady Chapel
5.15 p.m. Choral Evensong Quire (Vicars Choral)

7 THURSDAY: Ambrose, bishop, teacher of the faith, 397
11.30 a.m. Mothers’ Union Prayers Lady Chapel
5.15 p.m. Choral Evensong Quire (Vicars Choral)
7.15 p.m. Millfield Senior School Carol Service Nave

8 FRIDAY: Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
11.30 a.m. Millfield Prep School Carol Service Nave
5.15 p.m. Evening Prayer Lady Chapel

8.00 a.m. Morning Prayer Lady Chapel
1.00 p.m. Wells Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol Vicars’ Hall
3.00 p.m. Wells Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol Vicars’ Hall
5.15 p.m. Choral Evensong Quire (Wells Cathedral Chamber Choir)
7.00 p.m. Concert: WCOS Handel’s Messiah Nave

10 SUNDAY: The Second Sunday of Advent
8.30 a.m. Holy Communion (BCP) Quire/Presbytery
10.30 a.m. Cathedral Eucharist Nave (Wells Cathedral Choir)
Preacher: The Venerable Anne Gell, Acting Dean
3.00 p.m. Choral Evensong Quire (Vicars Choral)
6.30 p.m. Wells Cathedral School Advent Carol Service Nave

We continue to pray for all affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

To support the humanitarian aid effort, Christian Aid, Oxfam, and the Red Cross are running Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeals. Donating to one of these funds ensures that aid reaches those that need it as quickly as possible, and is delivered by people who are experienced in the complex logistics of delivering humanitarian aid.

God of strength and peace,
send your blessing on the people of Ukraine.
Sustain them in their struggles,
hold them in their fear,
protect them from all danger,
and be for them the hope they desire;
for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

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