It has often been said that the Cathedral is a Mother Church and a City Church. Due to her historic nature, her central and strategic location, the sprawling nature of her buildings and grounds, her role can be clearly seen. After all, the bishops and clergy meet here every week, and significant diocesan or national events are held here.
That said, we want to focus here on the Cathedral Community. This will be about spiritual influence, not historical or locational. In past years, SAC has been instrumental in planting new congregations across the city. She has also given generously to church building projects, especially in our deaneries.
In this new season, what does the Lord seek to do in and through us? This is a question for us to pray over and certainly something I have been doing since joining the Cathedral in 2016.
In 2018, can we pray over our role in helping parishes to develop, such as the Lat Krabang Anglican Church in Bangkok? Closer home, we are also reviewing how we can help our own church plants (i.e. Acts Centre) to have a firmer footing. Are there new fronts locally or in the deaneries which we should consider? What is important is to see our church planting efforts as an “overflow” of the spiritual and missional life of the SAC community, and not just the work of a few individuals.
This means that SAC needs to go beyond initial evangelism and engage in nursing the new congregation to full maturity. Here is where the maturity of ministries in SAC herself becomes important. It is very much in the spirit of Anglican missions to raise a parish community within a society for long-term influence. Here is where many parts of SAC can eventually play a part as many ministries can be involved if our longterm goal is to help a congregation to grow into a mature parish. We can think of the choir, Alpha teams, Connect groups ministry team, medical missions and even our cafe team! Everyone can be missional in their service.
We will also have a responsibility to fulfil our heritage role over properties which are uniquely the Cathedral’s. It is a part of our Christian witness to be seen as responsible and having a sense of excellence. Society expects this of us and indeed, we are located centrally and visibly, right at the heart of this modern city.
We have sufficient diversity in skills, expertise and passion in our congregation to ensure that every part of the Cathedral can rise up to our varied responsibilities. As a clergy, I need to focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer. But at the same time, I need to permit and empower those who are able to carry out the work. Areas like our pipe organ, building facade, the quality of our tours, the bells, gathering, the displaying and storing of artefacts and the communications ministry, just to name a few, all have to be done well as an integral part of our community witness. In particular, the PCC is charged with assisting the Vicar in the care of “temporal” responsibilities and we will work together to ensure that we continue to do what we ought to do.