Chapter Letter

Chapter Letter

The last Sunday after Trinity

25th October 2020

Dear Readers of the Chapter Letter 

Welcome: Welcome to worship at the Cathedral today. A special greeting goes to all who are visitors or newcomers; it is a delight to have you here. The services today are at 8.30am (in the Quire and Presbytery), 10.30am and 3.00pm.

During the week, Evensong is sung at 5.15pm by the Cathedral Choir on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and Evening Prayer is said at 5.15pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. There is a pre-recorded service on Sundays at 10.00am accessible on Facebook or on the Cathedral website. For details of Morning Prayer, please see the later notes here.

Morning Prayer: Gradually Cathedral life is returning to some familiar ways and rhythms. Morning Prayer will now be held, Tuesday – Friday, at 8.45am in the Lady Chapel. You will need to bring your own device/app or a service book. Or you may just wish to ‘listen in’! All will be very welcome. The service will last about twenty minutes.

Receiving Holy Communion: We continue today the practice of physically receiving Holy Communion; communion will be distributed in one kind, the bread of communion – and guidance for this will be offered at both Eucharists this morning, and in the rubrics for the individual services. Please note that the choir alone will sing the Gospel responses at this time.


The Cathedral Café: We have adjusted the café opening hours so that on Sundays it will open at 11.45 a.m. This is to allow worshippers to move easily from the Cathedral Eucharist up to the café for coffee, cake, and maybe a light lunch too! All will be very welcome.

John Davies, Dean


Upcoming concerts: 

Wells Cathedral is thrilled to be hosting Tasmin Little, internationally renowned violinist, who will be joined by members of the Fantasia Orchestra, and their conductor Tom Fetherstonhaugh for two Remembrance Concerts on Saturday 7th November 2020. The programme will include the ‘Lark Ascending’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams and a surprise piece performed by Tasmin Little. The Fantasia Orchestra will also play Bach Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor , Ravel Pavane pour une Infante Défante, and Schubert Symphony No.5.

Join the Vicars Choral for their Annual Commemoration Concert – The Trials and Tribulations of the Vicars Choral – on Thursday 12th November 2020. Since their establishment in 1348, the Vicars Choral have had an audacious existence on the Close – through plague and reformation, hedonism and harlotry, and many-a-misdemeanour in between! In an evening of music and readings that journeys from the pre-medieval to the post-modern, join the Vicars Choral as they reveal the rib-tickling tales of their past and the sensational choral repertoire that has emerged throughout their 676 year existence.

Early purchase for all concerts is recommended.


Organ Meditations: The last Meditation in this series will be played this Thursday by Colin Walsh, Organ Laureate of Lincoln Cathedral. Admission is free, with a retiring collection, the proceeds of which will go towards the Cathedral’s Bounce Back Appeal.

Jeremy Cole, Director of Music


All Souls’ Day, Monday 2nd November: On this day the Church gives thanks for the hope of eternal life and commends to God the souls of those who have died. There will be a Solemn Eucharist at 5.15 pm, sung by the Vicars Choral. If you would like names remembered at the service, please contact the Canon Pastor, via email ( or leave an envelope at the Cathedral Office marked All Souls/Canon Pastor, by Friday 30th October.


Remembrance Sunday, 8th November: Please note that the Cathedral Eucharist will begin at 10.00 am. on this day, and will conclude with an Act of Remembrance at 11.00 am.

Devotional Offering of Faure’s Requiem on Sunday 8th November 2020 at 3pm: Each year the Cathedral Choir makes a Remembrancetide offering on the afternoon of Remembrance Sunday. This year’s performance will be given by the Schola Cantorum and Vicars Choral of the Cathedral Choir. The readings, on ‘Loss and Hope’ are chosen and read by the broadcaster, Gavin Plumley.  There is a retiring collection to defray the expenses of the performance with the remainder going to the Cathedral’s Bounce Back Appeal.

Nicholas Jepson-Biddle, Precentor

11/11/20: On Remembrance Day there will be a short Act of Remembrance in the North Transept and Nave at 11.00 am. Social distancing arrangements will be in place as usual.


Financial Update: I promised last week an update on the Cathedral’s financial situation, and I’m glad to offer that today.

At the beginning of lockdown we feared a very large deficit for the year, perhaps £700,000. Since then however our Development Office, Administrator, Financial Controller and Clerk of the Works, have proved very nimble and adept at attracting a wide range of grants and emergency funding. The Church Commissioners have supported the back row of the Choir, the Yard, and several new posts. Job retention schemes have been carefully used. The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Culture Recovery Fund have also been generous. Local authority grants have also proved useful. And our Bounce Back Appeal stands now at £82,000. All this has brought reassuring stability to our finances, though 2021 may well prove a challenge.

John Davies, Dean

Care of our Fabric: We are very hopeful of a major funding grant to help with an exterior project (more details soon). The Friends are being very helpful as we care for the Organ, and have undertaken to raise funds for its refurbishment in five years’ time. Work is ongoing to improve lighting provision. And work has also been commissioned to improve the sound system. Funding has come from the Cathedral Preservation Trust for a survey of the West Front with any immediate works necessary.

John Davies, Dean


The Reverend David Wilcox: It was good to see so many people present last Sunday to mark David’s retirement as a Priest Vicar, and to thank both David and Alison for all they’ve contributed for almost thirteen years. David and Alison both send warmest thanks for the gift presented to them. David now becomes a Priest Vicar Emeritus. And it is good that Alison and David remain in Wells and at the Cathedral.

John Davies, Dean


Amnesty International: The Indian authorities have constantly targeted human rights defenders and organisations in that country. This forced Amnesty International India to close its offices. The Indian government froze Amnesty’s bank accounts and staff sadly lost their jobs. This called a halt to the research on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the conduct of the Delhi police following riots which left 53 people dead.

Anne Minns


Lighting System Upgrade: Contractors will be in the Cathedral between Monday 26th October and Thursday 29th October to strip down and remove all the existing lighting racks, reconfigure the wiring and install new lighting racks. This is essential work to repair and improve the lighting capability and will mean that LED lighting can be used in future. For each day the lighting system will be shut down completely so that works can proceed apace, with a power supply connected so that Evening Prayer is lit. There will not be any lighting in the Cathedral during the day, including for Morning Prayer. With the clocks going back it should be light, and light levels will be supplemented for prayer if necessary. Apologies for any inconvenience caused, but also a huge thank you to all those who have contributed to the Cathedral’s Bounce Back Appeal to date. These funds are helping to pay for this work and Chapter is most grateful.

Jackie Croft, Administrator


Day Chaplains in the Cathedral: Thanks go to all those who offer this important pastoral ministry day by day. It is good to report that five curates are soon to be trained and introduced to this ministry.


Safeguarding at Wells Cathedral: Wells Cathedral is committed to the safeguarding of all people. A copy of the current Safeguarding Policy is available to consult at the Cathedral Office and on the Cathedral website. To report an issue please contact: Jackie Croft (Cathedral Administrator and Chapter Clerk, Safeguarding Lead, 07799 644589), Glenys Armstrong (Diocesan Safeguarding Manager, 07834 514842) or the Revd Canon Nicholas Jepson-Biddle (Chapter Member with oversight of Safeguarding, 01749 674483).


Gift Aid and Contactless Giving: If you are a UK taxpayer and use the ‘contactless’ donation points, please register with SwiftAid; for further information please go to Each contactless donation you make to the Cathedral will then automatically be uplifted by 25%.


Pastoral matters as Lockdown eases: The Pastoral Network email continues to go out on Tuesdays and Fridays. For details of the Network, please email me on:

Day Chaplains or members of Chapter are now available for pastoral contact in the Cathedral most days.

Covid-19 is still affecting lives. If you would like prayer for yourself or others, send details by email to:

Finally, if you live in Wells and need the support of the Wells community, go to the excellent Wells Coronavirus Network website. It contains all sorts of helpful practical advice. The web address is:

Rosalind Paul, Canon Pastor


Readings for next Sunday’s Cathedral Eucharist

All Saints Day
1 John 3.1-3 and Matthew 5.1-12


This week:

The Dean is in residence.

Morning Prayer, 8:45am: Tuesday to Friday.

Choral Evensong, 5:15pm: Saturday (Sung by Wells Cathedral Voluntary Choir)

Said Evening Prayer, 5:15pm: Monday to Friday




Other services:

  • Thursday, 7:00pm: Organ meditation played by Colin Walsh, Organ Laureate, Lincoln Cathedral


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