From Bishop Michael
As someone who’s been in post myself for less than a year, I have the luxury of coming to Wells and its cathedral with the fresh eyes of a newcomer. This has given me a privileged perspective. I’ve been able to encounter the enormous good and opportunities that Wells contains. I’ve also been able to see the challenges which will need to be grappled in the coming years if Wells is truly to inhabit its role as the Cathedral Church of our diocese.
I love being here. Our Cathedral and its community constantly offer me a home and a welcome. Living right next door to its precincts, it’s the base from which my mission and ministry to our whole diocese extends. Within its structures and people I have found collegiality and fellowship, kindness and support. I’ve appreciated immensely being able to work alongside our Acting Dean, Anne Gell and our Cathedral’s Chapter, staff, volunteers and congregation. I look forward to this relationship and partnership only growing as we appoint a new permanent Dean.
Wells Cathedral is a place that evokes huge affection – among its congregation, in the people of its city, within our diocese and across our county. Folk love coming to this place and I sense that there is an appetite for our Cathedral to play a greater part in the lives of many different people. Critical within this will be identifying ways of enabling Wells Cathedral to engage with much broader demographics in terms of age and cultural background. Already within our Cathedral, much work is taking place to develop its strategy. A key role for our new Dean will be to take this work further and to embed it. This will mean discovering the vision God has for our county, our diocese, our city and our congregation. It will then be about working out what kind of Cathedral we need to be to serve all that God calls us to do. In this, Wells has people and staff ready to get their sleeves rolled up and to get going. This is a place of great goodwill. Our challenge is how to focus that behind the purposes God has for us and our world. All cathedrals are now medium-sized enterprises employing many different people, with funding issues and with many different aspects to their operation. Wells has its fair share of both the opportunities and challenges that go with this. The work of our new Dean will be to discover not only how to oversee all that must be done, but how what is done can happen for, through and in God.
These will include:
Someone who is/has:
Wells Cathedral stands at the heart of this tiny city, providing a place of prayer, peace, and beauty that is open and welcoming to all. For over 800 years, it has been steeped in prayer, and that daily rhythm of worship lies at the centre of its ministry. The excellent choral tradition enhances worship, and the sweeping gothic architecture looks heavenwards.
The Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop and works closely with him and the Diocese, so that Parishes can look to their Cathedral for spiritual support. The Diocese of Bath and Wells is extensive, including both small and remote communities but also major cities with large churches such as Bath Abbey and Taunton Minster. Wells Cathedral serves the whole Diocese and County by commemorating major occasions of both joy and sadness.
Thousands of visitors come each year to see this building and the medieval street of Vicars’ Close. Over 350 volunteers ensure that all visitors are welcomed, able to experience a guided tour, or receive spiritual help.