Liverpool Diocese and Cathedral

Cathedrals need to be creative to survive says Dean

The Dean of Liverpool has said that Cathedrals need to embrace creativity in order to remain open.

According to comments published in Liverpool Cathedral's annual review this week, the Very Reverend Sue Jones has argued that a Cathedral's survival is dependent on the number of visitors they are able to attract.

The review came after an installation by Luke Jerram entitled 'Museum of the Moon' in the Cathedral's Great Hall last month got over 200,000 visitors.


In her review, Very Reverend Sue attributed increased footfall to the range of activities showcased at the venue and their effectiveness to engage with culture, citing The Knife Angel - a memorial to those affected by knife crime - and the funeral of British comedian and singer Sir Ken Dodd, as examples of engaging with their local community.

She said: "Cathedrals that fail to adapt will fail to thrive, fail to survive. We owe it to future generations to prevent this from happening. I intend Liverpool Cathedral to thrive into the future."

She added: "Liverpool Cathedral is one of the pioneers in creatively thinking for the future.

"I've seen a cathedral community that cried with the city, cheered with the city, fed the city and prayed for the city," said the Dean.

The review argues that creativity is vital to a cathedrals engagement with and service to its local community.

"We say we were built by the people, for the people to the Glory of God.

"To live up to that we have to help people encounter us. And as they encounter us they should encounter a great welcome and encounter a God who knows and loves them."

A number of other cathedrals are using innovative concepts to engage with the public this summer.

Norwich Cathedral will be installing a 40 ft Helter Skelter within the building's nave from August.

Canon librarian at Norwich Cathedral, Doctor Peter Doll agrees that creativity is key to cathedrals, telling Premier: "Creativity is part of the DNA of cathedrals and always has been. One way we might describe it as is 'conversion of life'. If we want to relate to the world around us nothing can stay the same because the world around us changes all the time."

Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire has unveiled a signed Banksy sculpture depicting a large crucifix with hooks, which it hopes will attract visitors.

'The Grappling Hook' was created in 2017 as a "powerful statement" on the political and religious struggles in the West Bank.

The piece will be on display until the end of September.


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