To my astonishment, as I read the newspaper over my morning cup of coffee last week, I came across a full page spread in a national daily all about Sheffield Cathedral.
My first reaction was astonishment and then at almost the same time, and for a completely different reason, colleagues circulated a story running in the BBC to say that Sheffield Cathedral had been chosen as one of "37 Buildings of the Year" by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Two hits in one day in the national media – fame at last!
Of course it is good to see how the Cathedral, as a sacred space and as a body of people, can sit in the centre of those interactions between the Church and the wider creative community. Contributing to discussion and debate, and challenging people to stop and think about what life is actually all about.
To be open to the reality of God’s love in new, engaging and transformative ways is at the very heart of our vocation and has been the character of cathedrals for generations.
I have no doubt that some of the art work coming to the Cathedral later this year will provoke conversation, and that is a good thing, for it allows us to connect in new ways with those who come to this space. I also believe that those who come to see this RIBA Building of the Year will be moved to engage with our shared space and stop and think.
Encounters like this can be life changing
These are very exciting and deeply missional times offering us real opportunities to engage with our Diocese, city and region in new ways.
Canon Christopher Burke
Vice Dean and Canon Precentor