Report praises Norwich Cathedral's inter-faith work
Norwich Anglican Cathedral has been commended for its inter-faith work in a new report on England’s 42 Anglican cathedrals highlighting their continued importance as places of worship, their wider community work and their commitment to promoting local economic growth.
Cathedrals and their Communities is the culmination of a year-long tour which saw the Minister for Faith, Lord Bourne visit all of England’s 42 Anglican cathedrals to better understand their continued importance both to local communities and wider society. It was published on December 29 by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Lord Bourne said: “When I became Minister for Faith in the Department for Communities and Local Government, I decided to set out on a tour of all 42 Anglican cathedrals to celebrate their great work and better understand their role in today’s society. Ahead of the tour, I fully expected to hear that cathedrals face many challenges and struggles.
“While Britain remains a Christian country, we hear too often of declining congregations, financial problems and fading relevance across our cathedrals. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. I was struck by the vibrancy and creativity of the teams running England’s cathedrals and how chapters are tackling challenges at all levels. From Bishops to Deans, from communications professionals to administrative staff, I feel at the tour’s close that our cathedrals are in very safe hands.”
Cathedrals sit at the heart of many communities across England, said the report, not only as buildings often at the centre of urban hubs but also playing a key part in bringing their local communities closer together. Across the country, cathedrals are working hard to encourage more people to step inside and make use of their buildings as a part of their local space. The tour highlighted many great examples of how cathedrals can be hubs for community life – from helping the homeless to promoting interfaith dialogue.
Nurturing strong interfaith dialogue is perhaps one of the greatest roles cathedrals have in our communities today. Interfaith projects bring communities together to celebrate the things they have in common, with Norwich’s interfaith choir highlighted as an example.
Links between faith leaders proved strong in many areas, said the report, including in Norwich, where it was evident that local faith leaders were closely connected, often working together to share understanding through interfaith forums, conferences and events.
The Very Rev Adrian Dorber Chairman of the Association of English Cathedrals, said: “Cathedrals have two over-riding sets of responsibilities: internally within the Church, we are centres of daily worship and prayer, gathering places and hubs for our Dioceses. Externally, within our communities and nation, we welcome millions of visitors each year, steward key heritage assets and historic collections; we provide open access for personal reflection and we engage in a round of public conversations and events about human wellbeing and flourishing. These are backed by a range of social enterprises, initiatives and acts of service.”
Read the full report.