Continuous Cathedral Chorister Champion?

Is 75 years a world record?

We’d love to know if anyone can beat it?

David Kirby joined the Choir of St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, as a boy soprano at the beginning of 1942, aged 8 years. He was awarded a choir scholarship, which helped defray educational costs at the nearby Hutchins School. He never left the choir, and at the end of 2016, celebrated 75 years of singing as a Cathedral chorister.

During the 1940s, the Organist and Master of the Choristers, a relatively young John Nicholls, was anxious to retain talented boy choristers in the choir when their voices broke, and they were unable to sing soprano. Certain boys were encouraged to remain in the choir and sing in the lower ranks.

David was one of the first to be selected in this trial, and the first to stay the course. After a short period singing alto, and then tenor, he became a bass at the age of 14.

He served as a bass from 1947 to 2016. When a leading tenor left the choir at Easter 2016, David was asked to fill the gap in the tenor ranks. At the age of 83, he switched from bass to tenor, which involved learning a new part and greater concentration.

David has completed 75 Christmases in the choir – 5 as a choirboy, 69 as a bass and one as a tenor. This period of continuous service in a Anglican Cathedral choir is believed to be an Australian record, and possibly for English Cathedrals as well.

 

We Believe … in Art … and Mission

Creed ArtSaint David’s is committed to Proclaiming Jesus as Lord in the Heart of Hobart to build a community of living faith, profound hope and practical love.
The Cathedral daily receives and welcomes 40 to 100 visitors, tourists, and those seeking sanctuary. We invite all to experience of the Cathedral’s beauty and tranquillity
The Christian Church has been promoting the arts as evangelistic tools throughout history. Our Cathedral’s architecture, windows, and decorations all proclaim the Gospel as to the addition of Maz Gill-Harper’s Creed paintings.
Our building and our artwork give a  great opportunity for frontline mission work within our city that could have effect across the world, throughout time and you’ll be home for tea.

Read about the proposal to use the Cathedral as a mission field and how you can be involved here.

You can also listen to artist Maz Gill-Harper talk about the plan.


Please contact Craig Dumas with any questions you have 0410433941 orcraig.dumas@saintdavids.org.au.

 

Light in Dark Mofo?

Dark MofoFor the past few years St David’s has hosted concerts in association with the DARK MOFO Festival. This has raised a few eyebrows for some in the community and caused a few Christians to put pens to paper, or fingers to keyboards. They are concerned that in our association we are promoting a festival which celebrates darkness and so is anti Christian.
I thought it would be worth sharing my thinking about the use of the Cathedral for concerts.
Pragmatically we are public building which had a $3.75 million renovation paid for by Federal, State and local government grants as well as local community donations. In this sense, as well as in other ways we are Hobart’s Cathedral which I believe means we should be looking for ways that the people of Hobart can use and enjoy being in the building.
When we are approached about concerts we evaluate whether it is appropriate for the concert to be held in the Cathedral in terms of both content and logistics. There have been a number of concerts which we have not permitted. MONA wanted to have an organ recital which included a video programme. We wanted to see the video which was not possible in the time frame so the concert could not go ahead here. There are elements of DARK MOFO which we clearly would not allow to happen at the Cathedral
The DARK MOFO concerts we have had here have been a jazz concert, an organ recital, and cellist. This year’s concert on June 20 is called Heart of Darkness: Song and strings on the occasion of the longest night featuring a string quartet and a soprano. I believe that these concerts have not been antithetical to the values of the Cathedral and the Christian faith, and the religious works of John Tavener and Buxtehude clearly supportive.
This is not to say we take our association with DARK MOFO lightly. Last year after arranging a series called Midnight Concerts we were dismayed to see that they were billed as The Witching Hour. When this was drawn to my attention I contacted them and after a long discussion about why this title whilst witty was inappropriate and DARK MOFO retitled the series on the website.
This then leads to why I think it is worth the challenges perhaps even risks involved in being involved with DARK MOFO. I was able to speak to the artistic director about our concerns, about Christian faith, and why Christians should support the arts. It is a wonderful privilege to be engaged in such a discussion.
For as Christians we should believe in art. In part this is why we have the Creed artworks on display in the Cathedral, Furthermore in the Creed we say that we believe in a creative God and we believe we are made in his image, so we are creative people.

My prayer is that as people who would not normally darken our doors are welcomed into the Cathedral that they may start to see something of the light of Christ as they look at what we believe and consider what they believe. I pray that you would join me in that prayer.

God bless, Richard.

Sanctuary at Easter

SanctuaryWithServiceTimesMedRes (2)This Easter St. David’s  is using the idea of Sanctuary as a theme.  This ties in with the Cathedral making an offer of sanctuary to those threatened with deportation.

The Dean recently wrote on the connection between Easter and Sanctuary and why the cross is so important in the poster.

 

“The events of Easter at their heart are about God being involved in offering us sanctuary. We could look at this in many different ways. Consider the pastoral image of sanctuary that we find in the 23rd Psalm, of safety and, provision. Ultimately this sanctuary is provide by the death of the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
We could think of the wonderful words from Isaiah 53, our wholeness our healing comes at the cost of the one who suffered for us
In the Passion narrative in Luke 23, Barabbas, the guilty one is released, set free as another takes his place. The thief on the cross when he recognises Jesus as King is promised paradise, eternal sanctuary.
As Paul puts it in Colossians 1 “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” At the cross we have provision, peace, forgiveness, redemption, freedom and hope. As we look at the cross we see that sanctuary is offered here.
When we reflect on this, not only should we be pointing people to the cross to find this Sanctuary but it must impact our thinking on bearing the cost of offering sanctuary to others.

Our New Assistant Minister Ruth Hanlon

Ruth HanlonThe Rev’d Ruth Hanlon is the daughter of an Anglican Minister, who grew up in country Victoria and Melbourne. She studied a Bachelor of Arts and Social Work at Monash University. After marrying Michael, they lived in the U.K. for 8 years during which time Michael was ordained in the Church of England. They have four children from the ages of 12-21 years. Ruth has a background in social work and community palliative care and has completed a Masters of Divinity at Ridley College Melbourne. She was recently ordained deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. Ruth has a passion to share the gospel and the love, compassion and grace of Christ. Ruth is very much looking forward to moving to Hobart and having the opportunity to minister through the Cathedral. Please pray for Ruth, Michael and their family as they prepare for their move to Tasmania after Easter.

Her first Sunday at the Cathedral will be Sunday April 24.

A Cross the Waters

Canterbury Cross Hand OverA Canterbury Cross, a symbol of unity within the Anglican Communion has returned to St. David’s Cathedral after 60 years through a couple of chance conversations and generosity.

In 1932 a Canterbury Cross carved from stone pieces from Canterbury Cathedral, UK, was sent to every Anglican Cathedral in the world as an expression of unity. Canterbury is the spiritual home of the Anglican Communion. The Canterbury Cross at St. David’s was stolen in the mid 1950’s and so that symbolic connection was broken.

The Dean of Hobart, The Very Rev’d Richard Humphrey, when visiting Canterbury in 2012 mentioned this loss to a member of staff who suggested asking for a new one. Canterbury Cathedral was happy to provide a cross although it would take time and transport would need to be arranged.

Three years on and the cross was ready. The Dean happened to mention this to Graham Reeve, a Qantas pilot, who volunteered, with Qantas agreement, to pick it up and deliver it.

So in late January the Canterbury Cross was entrusted to Graham by the Dean of Canterbury, The Very Rev’d Dr Robert Willis, in the presence of The Most Reverend Philip Freier, Anglican Primate of Australia, and former Cathedral staff The Rev’ds Will & Gill Briggs. Graham will present the cross to the Dean this Sunday (January 31st) at 9.45am and then to the congregation of the Cathedral in the 10am service.

The Dean of Hobart commented “There is no greater symbol of unity in the Christian Church than the Cross of Jesus so we are grateful for the gift of a Canterbury Cross and the generosity of those who have enabled us to receive it.”

(In the picture above you can also see the section of Canterbury Cathedral where the stone was removed from before being sculpted.)

We’re looking for a new staff member.

Cathedral ProportionsIf you’d like to have this as your view from your work place then perhaps you might be our new Precentor/ Director of Music.

We are looking for someone to participate in the Cathedral’s mission of proclaiming Jesus as Lord in the Heart of Hobart to build a community of living faith, profound hope and practical love, particularly to facilitate the delivery of excellent public worship services.

A position description and application details can be found here.

Family Violence/ Domestic

Domestic-violence-007This important motion on Family Violence/ Domestic Abuse was passed at the Synod of the Diocese of Tasmania in June 2015.

We pray that it will encourage ongoing discussion and debate as well as enabling out church communities and leaders to be better resourced.

That this Synod,

  • deplores the horrific levels of family violence in the Tasmanian Community,
  • grieves with those who have suffered the pain and trauma of any form of domestic abuse,
  • recognises that such abuse occurs within the Christian community and the congregations of the Diocese of Tasmania,
  • maintains that family violence is absolutely unacceptable in any circumstance, and
  • commits the Diocese of Tasmania to work to changing community values from those which allow this abuse to occur to those which foster respectful and safe relationships.

Further this Synod urges the Bishop to

  • further use the office of the Bishop to raise awareness of family violence and all forms of domestic abuse,
  • ensure that copies of “Responding to domestic abuse: Guidelines for those with pastoral responsibilities”, (Church of England, 2006) and other suitable materials are made available to Anglican organisations and parishes (clergy, pastoral workers and members of Parish Council) within the Diocese of Tasmania to facilitate a culture of awareness in organisations, parishes and parish leadership, and
  • seek responses from Anglican organisations and parishes on this material so that within 12 months a resource for the Tasmanian Church can be prepared thereby
  1. ensuring that clergy and pastoral workers are adequately equipped and resourced to respond to family violence and all forms of domestic abuse,
  2. implementing protocols and standards for pastoral, parochial and organisational responses to family violence and all forms of domestic abuse.