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A BEACON OF LIGHT
View from the Lantern: The Very Revd Dr Jane Hedges
This article was written by The Very Revd Dr Jane Hedges, ahead of her final service as Interim Dean of Newcastle. It was first published in the October 2023 edition of Link, the monthly newspaper for the Diocese of Newcastle.
By the time you read this, I will have had my final service as Interim Dean of Newcastle. I want to express my gratitude for the time we’ve shared during my tenure. My nine months here have been nothing short of joyful; both my husband and I have been warmly embraced by this wonderful community and we intend to continue worshipping here for many years to come.
The next Dean, the Revd Canon Lee Batson, will be installed on Saturday 14 October, joining at a very exciting time for the Cathedral following its successful National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Common Ground in Sacred Space. The building has been imaginatively and beautifully re-ordered so that it now offers a flexible space in which to deliver worship as well as countless social, cultural and educational events, reaching out to people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds.
My final service coincided with the start of Generosity Week (24 September – 1 October), when we, along with dioceses across the Church of England, are invited to celebrate God’s generosity and consider our gratitude-driven response. Our giving extends beyond these seven days, and I would like to encourage you – if you are able – to please consider contributing to the Cathedral and wider Diocese’s ongoing mission all year round.
In common with other cathedrals, parish churches, and people from all walks of life, finances are incredibly stretched for the Cathedral, more so than they have been for a very long time. Daily expenses such as heating bills pose a continual challenge, as we strive to maintain a welcoming sanctuary for spiritual connection. As custodians of the Cathedral’s legacy, we are in a unique position to nurture its growth for future generations.
The Parish Giving Scheme is the simplest way of regular giving, and you can find out more via the Cathedral website here. If you’re not able to give financially, remember there are other modes of generosity, such as volunteering or leaving a legacy. It is not the monetary amount that holds significance, but rather the personal meaning it holds for you, and every amount is sincerely valued.
As I complete my time as Interim Dean, I encourage you to remember the Cathedral is here to support the whole diocese and is here for you and everybody to enjoy. I hope you can attend Lee’s service of installation and walk alongside him and the rest of the Cathedral team as we all work together to proclaim God’s love to those around us.