Brentwood Cathedral closed its doors at the beginning of January to enable essential repairs and redecoration to be carried out. It is expected to re-open in mid-March.
This means the Cathedral parish community has gone into temporary exile with the four main Sunday services being held in the Wessex Auditorium at Brentwood School and all the weekday services at Holy Cross, Warley.
The Dean of the Cathedral, Father Martin Boland explained why the work needs to be done: “The interior of the building is starting to look tired. It is over ten years since it was last decorated. There are also important structural works to be attended to, including the replacing of glass in the lantern or cupola that sits on the top of the Cathedral and there are damp issues affecting the front of the Cathedral as well as some leaking windows. If the Cathedral is to continue to speak eloquently of God to others and to attract them into His presence, then, it is important that we address these issues. We cannot leave them.”
This timing of the works between Christmas and Easter has been chosen so that the Cathedral can be its very best for the celebrations of the centenary of the Diocese of Brentwood which was established in 1917.
“I and the community here at Brentwood Cathedral look forward to welcoming all the people of the diocese to their Mother Church in this coming centenary year. This is a graced opportunity not only to look back in time with thanksgiving, but to set aside neurotic timidity and face the future with the creative hope and freedom that comes from knowing Christ. It is for this reason that we are having the Cathedral decorated so that it can proclaim with restored beauty the sublime message carved above its main doors: ‘Surrexit Dominus’, the Lord is Risen. The Cathedral is more than a building, it is an architectural hymn in stone and purity of light to the living presence of the Risen Christ. He is the centre of all that we are and do as a diocese and the Cathedral is an eloquent and challenging reminder of that lifegiving truth. In this centenary year, we warmly invite all people to come and see the restoration of their Cathedral and, in doing so, to experience their own spiritual restoration to the original glory that the Risen Lord promises each one of us.”