Over the coming week, to mark today's Feast of Consecration, members of our community will be sharing their favourite part of the cathedral as a special thanksgiving for our building. Today the Dean shares his favourite space.

I love the window over the entrance to the shop. It's made up of thousands of fragments of stained glass - pieced together in a rather random way, possibly after the fall of the west from in 1786.

At first, you see only shards of images - a bit of a bishop, a glimpse of a king but, on closer inspection, you can make out the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis - the sun and moon of Joseph's dream - the well into which Joseph was lowered by his brothers.

For me, it has always been a wonderful image of human life. A patchwork of experiences, often making little sense, yet somehow, when taken together, and seen in the 'long view' a wonderful story through which the light and colour shines brightly. Perhaps at this time, past glimpses of our lives shine out - even unexpectedly, to give renewed hope and encouragement?


When I see this stained glass, I'm reminded of these words by the 17th century poet, George Herbert, as he describes stained glass in his own church and sees there a 'parable' of our relationship with God.


Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?

    He is a brittle crazy glass;

Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford

    This glorious and transcendent place,

    To be a window, through thy grace.


But when thou dost anneal in glass thy story,

    Making thy life to shine within

The holy preachers, then the light and glory

    More reverend grows, and more doth win;

    Which else shows waterish, bleak, and thin.


Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one

    When they combine and mingle, bring

A strong regard and awe; but speech alone

    Doth vanish like a flaring thing,

    And in the ear, not conscience, ring.


We would like to thank our community for their support during this time as we, like so many other organisations, face a very challenging period. We have been truly touched by the kind messages from those who have been in touch to ask how they can support us. If you would like to find out more about supporting the cathedral please click here.