Tag Archives: Michael Fletcher

The Cathedral Connection 1 December 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, happy new church year is perhaps more accurate. As we start our season of Advent we are reminded that the Church and secular world are slightly off kilter with each other in terms of their time keeping. Shops have already started with the wonders of Christmas (and I’m sure remnants of Easter are still lurking on shelves as well) with bright lights and sales offers to satisfy our immediate desires and ‘needs’. I know I’ve been sucked in before, even if just for a block of Whittaker’s chocolate as a salve against more pressing issues I’d rather ignore!

Advent in the Church, however, makes no claim for instant satisfaction, and instead invites us to pay more attention to what is going on in our own environment, in our own hearts. At its heart Advent is a cry that yearns for a world that is fair, just and honest. Indeed, the call throughout Matthew’s Gospel is to justice. So, as St Paul calls us to “wake up” and be ready, let us look around us and within us, and with the gift of the Christ who has already come, make changes that see a world that is different, gentler, more robust, indeed transformed.

Let this New Year bring hope and joy, may we move away from a Christmas that some would believe is already here and instead embrace these four weeks of Advent. May we be transformed to bring forth His kingdom, one of inclusion, of compassion, integrity and generosity here on earth.

‘Yea, amen, let all adore thee … O come quickly; Alleluia! Come, Lord, come.’

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of Music

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 27 October 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Sunshine and Gladness

I can still remember the 1970s animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and probably more so one of the songs from it, sung by the Kings Singers.

Building a wall to surround you, Gathering all your treasures around you,
Living a life apart. Not having anyone near you; Building a wall and making them fear you, Saying you have no heart.

You’re a fool if you think you can live Your life without sharing sunshine and gladness; If you think you can live without love, You’re building a wall of sorrow and madness.

You’re building a wall to surround yourself; You’re just building a wall to protect yourself; You’re just building a wall to defend yourself, But you’re building a wall that will break your heart.

 For me, many of these stories and in my case the animated adaptations left me with something that lingered. Something that inspired a fresh look at elements of my own life. It is much like taking a mirror to what is and showing a vista to what might be. The end of story never really being the end.

Today’s parable provides stark lingering questions for us all: where do we place our trust and why do we judge those around us? Questions that are never easy to answer and rather uncomfortable as well. Perhaps it’s just easier to build a wall and deflect further thought?

Christ challenges us to think and reflect offering His love and mercy, for before him there is no need to fear. Our vulnerability is met and welcomed and the fragments of our lives are gathered up and transformed in to glimpses of hope. A hope that transforms how we see ourselves, how we present ourselves to others and in how we respond to them.

So don’t build a wall that will break your heart, instead let yourself be vulnerable and allow Christ’s love to enter and transform you. And don’t let that be the end of the story, when you leave here share that transforming love with all by sharing in their struggles thus building God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, sharing the sunshine and the gladness.

Michael Fletcher, Director of Music

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 29 September 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Seeing what is all around us

Music, poetry, sculpture, painting – the diverse range of the arts gives us a glimpse of the vision and imagination of the artist. They often see a fuller reality that is already present in the ordinary, and through their work they allow us to share in that hidden truth – to see ‘the full picture’. From Shakespeare to David Bowie, from painting to Christmas carol, the story of Dives and Lazarus has inspired artists throughout the ages, and in turn provided a transfigurative experience for those viewing and experiencing their work.

Today’s parable draws some clear links to the story of the Transfiguration, and both point to resurrection and the coming of God’s kingdom, and also to the power and importance of listening. But how do we listen to the voice of God in such a way that we distil and purify our own vision of life, that then leads us to transfigured action that imitates Christ’s own self-giving love?

The ‘aha’ moment is perhaps that the gospel reading today isn’t about earning or relinquishing an eternal reward; rather it’s about the character and quality of our life right now. We need to take this invitation to live a fuller, more meaningful life by sharing ourselves with one another. For we are all one; we are all members of the race which God has personally joined. We need to open the gifts we have received and live with gratefulness.

So, go in to the world with hope, joy and most certainly with the transfiguring power of Christ’s love to be His voice and hands and feet, and to be artists in the world, transfiguring the ordinary, into a new creation.

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of  Music

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

The Cathedral Connection 16 June 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Who do you need to grow?

From the very beginning of our life we need others. Our parents, grand parents, caregivers, friends, family and strangers all touch our lives. With love as their guide these communities or relationships provide not only a warm embrace of love, safety and value, but they also encourage separateness, and it is in this separateness that we are enabled to learn, to take risks, to both grow and develop. Indeed, many of the tasks of human and spiritual maturity involve others acting as a mirror reflecting us back to ourselves as we truly are, not just as we would like to see ourselves.

Today we celebrate the inter-dependence of the Trinity of persons defined as love; revealed as One God, home to three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. United but distinct. While we realise that this is a paradox of unity amidst diversity, we realise this mystery is at the heart of our faith and the centre point of all love. It is not something we can understand with our minds, but like most things relating to faith and love we can only understand and experience with our hearts.

So, let us go out and actively experience this love, growing relationships and community that are truly life giving and in so doing may we be drawn deeper into that unity and diversity which is at the very heart of the mystery of the Holy and undivided Trinity.

Michael Fletcher
Cathedral Director of Music

The full newsletter can be viewed here.