SEE US IN A NEW LIGHT
Teamwork makes the dream work
Lindy Gilliland, our Common Ground in Sacred Space Project Manager, writes:
Every time I walk round the Cathedral’s renovations, I’m impressed by how the scene has changed yet again as the re-modelling moves forward. I’m also reminded of the issues the Design Team and Contractor have worked through to get this far.
There are so many people contributing to the Cathedral’s redevelopment during really tricky times of social distancing, sickness and home working, not to mention the unexpected technical setbacks and emergency archaeology. I want to shout out ‘Well done everyone. We’ll get there yet. Keep going!’
At the same time, clergy and Cathedral staff are putting up with noise, dust and dirt, leaking roofs, temperamental phone lines/internet, swollen toilet doors and lack of heating and lighting as contractors refurbish boilers, mistakenly cut through cables, switch off electricity and fix up rotten joists.
The Music Team gamefully continues to broadcast Evensong from the Quire with dedicated singers and chorister parents who dodge round masons, vehicles and muddy paths to get to rehearsals on time.
Lockdown no.2 kiboshed staff plans to re-open the Cathedral as soon as we would wish, though we just squeezed in some behind-the-scenes tours and crafts in the half term holidays with small, socially distanced groups of appreciative visitors.
Perhaps it was BBC Look North journalist, Gerry Jackson’s enthusiasm for the Cathedral’s history and future intent, which brought home to me the need to look beyond current logistical difficulties of this complex operation. Our eyes are firmly fixed on 2021 and everything that has to be made ready for the ‘new’ Cathedral.
So everyone continues to beaver away as we organise and advertise Christmas services and online events and plan for a modest January re-opening of the eastern chapels and west doors. We’re in contact with congregations and volunteers, retail and café suppliers, furniture makers and master crafters, city planners and tree specialists, teachers, community artists, digital creatives and many more folk who all have a role to play in the Cathedral’s unfolding story. Huge thanks to everyone for your energy in moving on with Making Sacred Space Common Ground in such unusual circumstances. We couldn’t do it without you!