Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Legal Service Update (Sunday 18th March)

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

The service today (Sunday 18th March, 11.30am) is going ahead but there will be no procession from the Town Hall to Wells Cathedral and no horses in attendance.

Please take care if you intend to come to the service and heed police travel warnings.

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Lent 2018 at Wells Cathedral: 18th March

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

1918-2018: The Conflict that shaped a Century

2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War One, a conflict that shaped the century to come in terms of theology, social practice and world politics.

We have asked a series of preachers to explore some of these themes in addresses at Sunday Evensong (3pm), with tea and a seminar to follow each Sunday.

18th March:  Islam 

The Preacher in the last of the Lent series of addresses at Sunday Evensong is Professor David Thomas our new Canon Theologian. He is a Professor of Theology at Birmingham University and has an international reputation as a scholar of Islamic history and theology. He will be exploring the place of Islam in modern British society since World War One. Tea will follow the service and a seminar will then be held to explore the issues further.

All welcome! No booking required.

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Afternoon Teas in Wells Cathedral’s cloisters

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Those looking for the quintessential English afternoon tea experience this summer will be delighted to learn that they will be on offer in the atmospheric cloisters of Wells Cathedral as part of a new ‘pop up café’ experience.

Dainty sandwich selections, home-made cakes and tea or coffee will be served on a range of authentic vintage crockery and table linen; strawberry tarts filled with crème patissiere have already proved to be a big hit with the Dean of Wells who trialled the new teas recently!

The pop up café will be available Wednesday – Sundays from 1.30-4.30pm from Wednesday 28 March (although it won’t be running between Monday 9 April to Tuesday 1 May).

No need to book!

All profits from the café go to supporting the work of the Cathedral.

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Holy Week and Easter

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Easter is the heart of the Christian faith. During Holy Week we enter Jesus’s last days on earth with Palm Sunday (commemorating Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey), Maundy Thursday (Christ’s last supper with his disciples and when he washed his disciples’ feet), Good Friday (when Christ was crucified) and Easter (when Christ rose from the dead).

For all service and event highlights at Wells during this important period in the church calendar please either download our guide for Holy Week and Easter (available by clicking here) or our Monthly Services and Music List, available here. 

Particular highlights include:

Palm Sunday, 25 March, 3.00pm
Wells Cathedral Choir, Jeremy Cole (organ), Matthew Owens (conductor).
Commissioned by Cathedral Commissions of Wells Cathedral, with support from the RVW Trust, this major new setting of the
St Luke Passion is given its World Premiere by Wells Cathedral Choir within a service for Palm Sunday.
Admission: free with retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral Music.

Monday 26 -Thursday 29 March, 12noon
MIDDAY OFFICE IN HOLY WEEK:  With Meditation on the Passion according to St Mark I
The Reverend Canon Andrew Featherstone

Good Friday, 30 March, 
THREE HOUR DEVOTION 12.00 noon – 3pm. 

Good Friday is a day to sit or stand at the foot of the cross and to let divine love flood down from that cross to absolve and cherish our souls. We are delighted to welcome a special guest speaker during the Three Hour Devotion who will be Malcolm Guite – poet, author (of eight books), columnist and Anglican priest. More on Malcolm can be found here. And we’ll be joined in the final hour by our Boy Choristers, Girl Choristers, and Vicars Choral with music including Stuart Beer The Reproaches (world premiere); Lotti Crucifixus; Walton A Litany. All welcome.

Bath Camerata performs Rheinberger’s exquisite Mass for Double Choir alongside three new works commissioned to mark the choir’s 30th anniversary: Will Todd Songs of Renewal; Roderick Williams Everyone Sang; Owain Park Vinea mea electa. Benjamin Goodson (conductor). Sponsored by the PRS for Music Foundation and the Hinrichsen Foundation. Admission: free, with a retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral Music. Doors open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

Our celebration of Easter begins, as usual, with the Easter Vigil at 9.00pm on Holy Saturday, 31 March, and continues on Easter Day, 1 April, with our usual round of services. Please note that the Cathedral Eucharist is at 9.30am on Easter Day:

9.30am CATHEDRAL EUCHARIST. Preacher: The Right Reverend Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells
11.30am MATINS
3.00pm FESTAL EVENSONG Preacher: The Reverend Canon Nicholas Jepson-Biddle, Precentor

Wednesday 28 March, 10.30am & 2.00pm EASTER GARDENS & TRAIL
Free workshop with no need to book. Donations welcomed.

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Legal Service: Saturday 18 March (11.30am)

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Judges, lawyers and representatives of the Criminal Justice System in Somerset join us at the Cathedral on Sunday 18th March (11.30am) for our annual Legal Service. Some seats are reserved but this service is very much open to the public, and all are welcome (please note that the Cathedral Eucharist will start at 9.30am today).

During the service the High Sheriff of the county is sworn in for the coming year and we celebrate the work of the courts and the legal system in our county. The speaker this year is Lady Hale, one of the most senior Judges in the UK.

Brenda Marjorie Hale, Lady Hale of Richmond took up appointment as President of The Supreme Court in September 2017, succeeding Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury. This following her appointment as Deputy President from June 2013. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of The Supreme Court.

In January 2004, Lady Hale became the United Kingdom’s first woman Lord of Appeal in Ordinary after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer, and judge. After graduating from Cambridge in 1966, she taught law at Manchester University from 1966 to 1984, also qualifying as a barrister and practising for a while at the Manchester Bar. She specialised in Family and Social Welfare law, was founding editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, and authored a pioneering case book on ‘The Family, Law and Society’.

In 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. Important legislation resulting from the work of her team at the Commission includes the Children Act 1989, the Family Law Act 1996, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She also began sitting as an assistant recorder.

In 1994 she became a High Court judge, the first to have made her career as an academic and public servant rather than a practising barrister. In 1999 she was the second woman to be promoted to the Court of Appeal, before becoming the first woman Law Lord.

She retains her links with the academic world as Visitor of Girton College, Cambridge, and Visiting Professor of Kings College London. She previously served as Chancellor of the University of Bristol.  A home maker as well as a judge, she thoroughly enjoyed helping the artists and architects create a new home for The Supreme Court.


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Alcantara Exhibition in South Cloister

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Local artist Peter Lawrence joins us in the South Cloister with an exhibition of his paintings up to Sunday 18 March. Peter will be at the exhibition every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 2pm to answer any questions you may have.

The exhibition of art forms the basis of a book containing the paintings complemented by prose and poetry from writers in Somerset and the Levant region. The book can be enjoyed for its vibrant and thought-provoking art but will also challenge its readers to reflect on the cultural and historic bridges and the western involvement in the Levant and resulting implications and responsibilities. All royalties and proceeds from the book will be donated to three charities working with refugees and displaced people in the UK, Jordan and Palestine: Abide, Souriyat Across Borders and GapArt. The project is supported by Arts Council England.

A programme of Exhibitions for the year can be found in our What’s On section of the website.

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The Chancellor of Wells, Reverend Canon Andrew Featherstone, to retire in June 2018

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

The Reverend Canon Andrew Featherstone, Chancellor of Wells Cathedral, is to retire in June 2018 after 13 years in post. Andrew’s last service at Wells will probably be on Sunday 10 June 2018.

Andrew was made Chancellor of Wells Cathedral in 2005; there will be lots of opportunities to say farewell to him and to thank him for being such a faithful servant to this Cathedral but for now all good wishes go to Andrew and his family as they begin to think about and plan the next phase of their lives.

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Lent Reading: Book Reviews

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Several Lent books are reviewed here and are stocked in the Cathedral shops.

Fierce Imaginings by The Revd Canon Rachel Mann, Canon Poet, Manchester Cathedral

DLT 2017 £12.99

The first speaker in our Lent series of seminars (more here), Rachel Mann, has recently published Fierce Imaginings to a storm of acclaim. The book is a study of the collapse of Victorian and Edwardian culture and belief in the trenches of World War one. And that collapse she traces in poetry, in family history, and in popular belief. Rowan Williams has called the book ‘exceptional’. It is accessible, pungent and has a deep integrity. In a sense it also frames our Lent series – out of World War One was born a different culture – more open to women, more democratic, more ambiguous about traditional images of God, more open to diversity. Recommended reading!

John Davies, Dean

A place for God by Bishop Graham James
The Mowbray Lent Book 2018
Mowbrays, 2018 £9.99
Those who value Bishop Graham’s very accessible and approachable Thought for the Day contributions on Radio 4, will find the same voice here – gentle, insightful, wise. For each day in Lent a biblical passage is suggested for reading, accompanied by a mediation by Bishop Graham. And the meditations are always focused on places: some are in Norfolk where the Bishop works; but some are very far flung – Cornwall, Galilee, Soweto, Devil’s Island, Rome, the list goes on. Here is a gentle, uplifting book to carry through Lent.

John Davies, Dean

The Way of the Carmelites: a prayer journey through Lent by James McCaffrey OCD
SPCK 2017 £8.99
The treasure of the Carmelites is contemplation – which attracts and terrifies us in equal measure. For them contemplation pours out through prayer into community and service and this Lent book draws on the experience of the more familiar Carmelites; St John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila, Edith Stein, whose comfortability with silence was borne out of the communion of love they had found in Jesus. This wise, humble and brilliant book is for anyone who takes their prayer life seriously, who longs for the treasure and needs a map!

Nicholas Jepson-Biddle, Precentor

Say it to God: in search of prayer by Luigi Gioia
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2018
Bloomsbury 2018 £9.99
Luigi Gioia is a Benedictine monk, and a professor of theology. He has preached spiritual retreats across the world. In 26 short chapters, with copious scriptural quotations (keep a Bible close at hand), Gioia invites the reader to read slowly and take time to reflect. Key to the book is the proposition “I am always with God and know God is always with me”. At times the author is refreshingly succinct. His guidelines for prayer are: “keep it simple, keep it short, keep it frequent, keep it real”. Prayer is hard work. Reading this accessible and searching book will be a good Lenten discipline, offering insight to those who feel they are novices in prayer, and to those who are wearied in their prayer and in need of refreshment.

Andrew Featherstone, Chancellor


Ash Wednesday: 14th February, services of the day 8am, 9:30am and 5:15pm: All services will include the imposition of ashes for those who
wish. The Eucharist at 5:15pm will be sung by Wells Cathedral Voluntary Choir.

1918-2018: The Conflict that shaped a Century

2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War One, a conflict that shaped the century to come in terms of theology, social practice and world politics. We have asked a series of preachers to explore some of these themes in addresses at Sunday Evensong (3pm), with tea and a seminar to follow each Sunday. The series begins on Sunday 18th February with The Revd Canon Rachel Mann, more here.

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Chained Library and Gothic Architecture Tours 2018

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Wells Cathedral runs a number of fixed date special interest tours for our visitors which run on specific dates during the year.

They last between 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, can accommodate up to 15 people per party and do need to be pre-booked.

Take a peek into one of the few chained libraries in Britain with our Chained Library tour or learn the stories behind the architecture of England’s first entirely gothic cathedral with our Doorway into Gothic Architecture tour.

A number of tours are available throughout the year and can be booked online, via telephone on 01749 671663  or purchase your ticket from us in person via one of our shops.

Click here for more details.


The Chained Library


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Newsletters & Chapter Letter

Friday, June 16th, 2017

March Newsletter

Click on the link to download a copy of the monthly e-newsletter for Wells Cathedral which provides a summary of all service and events taking place in the forthcoming month.

If you would prefer to receive your newsletter automatically via email each month please follow the instructions on this page.

Weekly Chapter Letter

Click on the link to download a copy of our Weekly Chapter Letter, Sunday 18 March 2018 which is also available, in printed form, in the nave of the Cathedral.

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