Friends meet Friends

A few months ago a group of Friends from our Cathedral in Arundel visited their counterparts in Chichester. On that occasion they were warmly welcomed by Bishop Martin who talked about the role of cathedrals generally in the spiritual life of the church and the special unique features of the Cathedral in Chichester. In April the Arundel friends were glad to reciprocate.

Mgr. John Hull, as Provost of the Diocesan Chapter, led the welcomes and in a short but fascinating talk highlighted the similarities and differences between the ways in which Catholic cathedrals and Anglican cathedrals worked – how Bishops were chosen, how the Diocese was conceived as a Particular Church, how it was governed and how, unlike the position in the Church of England, the Cathedral was very much the parish church of the Bishop. Mgr. John’s talk also highlighted how the medieval inheritance of the Church of England meant there were many similarities in approach and in practice. There was more that unites than separates us.

A guided tour of the Cathedral was led by Oliver Hawkins, an erudite and knowledgeable ‘Friend’ who has spent many years researching the history of the historic building, its architecture and artefacts, and edits the twice yearly publication of ‘Cornerstone’.* The visitors were also treated to sight of the sacred vestments, stored carefully to preserve them, and given a short description of their origins and use. Local Arundel ‘Friends’ joined the group for a buffet lunch to chat and make our guests feel welcome. A tour of the Fitzalan Chapel led again by Oliver followed and the visit concluded with tea and cakes in Cathedral House.

The Friends have been delighted by the warm expressions of thanks received from their guests and hope that other groups will be inspired to visit. They hope too that by publicising the visit more people will come forward to become Friends and join our stalwart band of supporters. It is great fun and thoroughly worthwhile.

* The twice yearly publication of The Friends of Arundel Cathedral. All members receive one as part of their membership. More details about membership can be found on the Cathedral website or by phoning Lindsey Stratford on 01903 884567