In the shadow of Tracey Emim’s Neon art installation “For You” in Liverpool Cathedral we ran our World to Rightsday with 150 school children from local schools. To see how we got on check out our blog. But I wanted to comment on the impact the Cathedral has had on me. Last week I blogged about how impressed I had been by Aston Villa FC’s work within the local community, well Liverpool Cathedral has restored my hope in the mission of a cathedral!
As you enter a big sign tells you that the cathedral is “The Great Space.” One thing the cathedral is aware of is that space is a valuable commodity and it is happy to share it with anyone who comes in and to be flexible in the way it does it. The next thing you see is their mission Statement which ends with "The Cathedral is a centre for hospitality, welcoming all its visitors and affirming their common humanity" - The Neon light’s of Tracey Emim’s installation is then proof of this. Talk about taking a risk allowing her to put a pink strobe of writing under a stain glass window! But what this also says is that the Cathedral is happy to allow its city to express itself in its so called sacred space on their own terms. Although her message may look tacky to some, it carries a very personal feel, “I felt you and I know you loved me.” and it makes any onlooker aware the distinct lack of contemporary Christian symbols.
We certainly felt the love from Liverpool cathedral throughout the day. One of our team in conversation with the Deans wife Caroline asked about the use of space in the cathedral and she shared that a new strap line is being considered - A safe place to take risks! This is obviously happening already allowing 160 children to run free and perform a World to Rights play. May be all the risk taking stuff happens at that end of the cathedral! All I can suggest for the success or failure of Liverpool Cathedral in its mission is... to watch this space!