We engage with two distinct themes. The Diocese of Salisbury is encouraging us to ‘Pray, Serve, Grow’, and the Cathedral’s focus this year is ‘Memory and Identity’. What is described in this leaflet seeks to connect imaginatively with both themes. You are invited to consider the themes, and the proposals which follow, and then to take up things among them which will help you to pray, serve, and grow.
Most things in this leaflet takes place during Lent, but quite deliberately some things happen after the season, and others can start and end as people wish. Lent is a challenge and a stimulus for our Christian growth, not its annual boundary.
Daily Prayer: ‘Renewing Hope – Praying Together’
This simple pattern for prayer has been devised and provided by the diocese. Copies are available and you are invited to use it through the season, alone or together. We will use it during the Lent meetings at the Cathedral.
Evening Meetings in the Cathedral: 'For I handed on to you what I in turn had received' (I Cor.15.3)
We focus on the body of collective memory through which our Christian identity is formed, particularly in the Jewish tradition of the Old Testament, and in the tradition of the Eucharist. Please note that two meetings fall within the first week.
Monday 6 March, 19.00 - 20.15
Lecture, Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok 'The role of memory in forming Jewish identity'
The following weekly meetings will have a common structure, similar to that used in Lent 2016, but wholly devised and introduced by the Cathedral clergy team. Framed by ‘Praying Together’ and Compline, each evening will include a talk by the Chancellor or Precentor, and discussion together in smaller groups.
Wednesday 8 March, 19.00-21.00
The historical framework of the Old Testament
Wednesday 15 March, 19.00-21.00
The range of writings in the Old Testament
Wednesday 22 March, 19.00-21.00
The traditions from which the Eucharist grew
Wednesday 29 March, 19.00-21.00
Remembering in the Eucharist
Follow-up Home Groups:
For those who want the chance of weekly meetings to explore the evening themes further.
Lent is a great chance to read something, and why not do it together? We suggest the following titles. Each is available via Sarum College Bookshop, at the prices indicated; you might also look at abebooks.co.uk.
‘Left to Tell’ by Immaculee Ilibagiza
The remarkable story of a young Roman Catholic Tutsi woman who survived the Rwandan holocaust of 1994 when her entire family were brutally murdered. She was saved by a Protestant Hutu Pastor who sheltered her and she later went on to work for the United Nations. It tells her story vividly and raises questions of how we live with histories of hatred and brutality. [£9.99]
‘Dementia: Living in the Memories of God’ by John Swinton
A theological approach to this most frightening disease. John Swinton won the 2016 Michael Ramsey Prize for this impressive survey of the best contemporary insights into dementia and an approach of pastoral theology. Who am I when I’ve forgotten who I am? What does it mean to be loved by God when I have forgotten who God is? It is a compassionate book which challenges the way we all approach the subject of forgetfulness. [£25]
‘The End of Memory: remembering rightly in a violent world’ by Miroslav Volf
Building on his experience of being interrogated and psychologically tortured whilst serving in the Yugoslavian army this Croatian theologian discusses how we should remember difficult and painful memories. How do we remember things in the right way, especially abuse? [£17.99]
‘The Railway Man’ by Eric Lomax
Lomax’s life was profoundly affected by the traumas of being a prisoner of the Japanese during World War 2; he maintained a particular hatred of the man who interrogated him. Decades later, in retirement he determined to confront his tormentor, and found that his enemy was also profoundly affected by his wartime experience. [£8.99]
Movies Under the Spire:
Later in the year we will be holding an occasional film club at the cathedral, followed by 30 minutes discussion chaired by Canon Robert Titley. (£9 including soft drink and tapas nibbles.)
Wednesday 10 May, ‘Ashes’
2012 film starring Ray Winstone and Jim Sturgess. An Alzheimer’s patient is taken on an involuntary road trip by a son he no longer knows. Their journey is haphazard, funny, comic, violent and tragic by turns.
Thursday 27 July, ‘Memento’
2000 film in which an insurance investigator, now suffering from amnesia through brain damage, investigates the murder of his wife. The story is told in intercut scenes, working chronologically backwards and forwards and finally meeting. The viewer shares with the hero the struggle to understand what is happening.
· Daily prayer booklets will be available during February.
· Book groups and follow-up groups will be set up during February. To help us gauge levels of interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note for Canon Edward Probert.
· Serve: during Lent we will discuss ways in which we can each find new ways to serve.