I would like to invite you on a pilgrim journey around the Cathedral. Come into the Cathedral on a midweek day during August and follow this pilgrim trail.
A Journey of discovery and prayer
Enter the Cathedral through the Grand entrance through the west end doors. Pause and look on the wall to your left. You will see the carving of a cross. This is one of a few consecration crosses dotted around the Cathedral. When the West end was consecrated in Christ’s name and to His service in the 1960s, the Bishop would have ceremonially finished the carving with a few taps of the masons mallet and chisel. The sign of the Cross, the sign of Christ. Pray that our lives would be a sign of God’s love in Christ. Light a candle and spend some time in the prayer corner.
Move up the South aisle to the Parker Transept. The south window represents Christ the Healer in the upper panels, with St. Luke the physician, the central figure of the lower ones. Mrs Samuel Parker added this transept in memory of her husband, a prominent local physician. Look for the images that tell the story of the Good Samaritan. Pray for all those who find themselves wounded and hurt, that through the healing ministry of Christ’s church, they would find health and wholeness.
Move to the Chancel and stand in front of the High Sanctuary. Look up and see the gilded angels. Remember that, in Heaven worship happens continually with the hymn of praise, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Heaven and earth are full of your Glory!’ Pause and join in, silently, with the eternal song of praise. Look for the Cathedra, the Bishop’s throne. Pray for those in the Diocese and nationally who will be involved in the discernment and choice of a new Bishop of Sheffield.
Move in to the Chapel of St Katherine. It was made into a chapel in 1936 in memory of Anna Louisa Burrows, wife of the first Bishop of Sheffield and celebrates the Ministry of women in the Church. You will see the banner of the Mothers Union. Pray for the Mothers Union and their ministry throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Move through the Burrows Transept and stand at the entrance to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Look up and above the door you will see a stone carving of the Holy Spirit in the image of a dove, as is traditional. You will see him ‘brooding over the face of the waters’ as in the story of creation at the very beginning of the Bible. It is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that that we become a new creation in Christ. Pray that many would know this in their own lives through the ministry of the Cathedral. Look down the steps to your left and you will see a door into the Cathedral Archer Project. Pray for the project clients, staff and all who work to offer support and help to the homeless.
Turn and enter the Crypt Chapel of All Saints. This is a ‘Columbarium’, a place where ashes are interred. It is the only one to be found in an English Cathedral. You will see the names of those whose remains are laid to rest. Light a candle and remember all those who have gone before us in the faith of Christ. The New Testament says, ‘Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us run the race with perseverance, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.’
Move back to the West end and stand in front of the font and look up at the lantern. Enjoy the colours of the glass. The abstract design of the lantern speaks of the colours of creation and the Christian journey begun at Baptism. Pray that the promises made at Baptism would bear fruit in the lives of all Christ’s disciples. Remember, at the font we are not at the end, but at the
beginning of our journey of faith.
I hope you have received ‘spiritual food’ in this short pilgrimage. You will now need some nourishment for the body, so please visit the 1554 Coffee Shop! On the way out go into the Gift Shop and buy a small gift or greeting card for someone who needs encouragement at this time.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the
Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and always.
Canon Keith Farrow