On visiting Perth

I enjoyed my visit to Perth on Sunday evening. Several things stuck me which are worth comment.

  • People seemed in good heart in the diocese. The mission review that Bishop David has been getting them to do seems to have got people thinking and even got some of them excited. I’ve still not seen it and wonder whether it is at a stage where it could be posted online. Other dioceses might be interested in how it has been done and what has been achieved.
  • The service was that well known rite, Four Installations and an Ordination. (The plan is that eventually, we’ll get it made into a film, with Hugh Grant as the glamorous preacher in the Cope of Glory). It struck me very noticeably that so far as I could tell, there were no ecumenical friends in the clergy procession. At state occasions like this, it has been common in recent years to see C of S and RC friends processing in together. Maybe they were sitting in other places in the church. Striking though.
  • The Cathedral looked great. Denuded of most of its pews and lit with new lighting, it looks so much better than the gloomy dark space of old. I particularly liked the long pews placed in collegial format (ie facing in) in the aisles. It helped create a wonderful sense of the gathered community.
  • The other thing which was very noticeable was the age profile of those who were gathered. There must have been about four hundred folk there, maybe more. With the exception of Tim Haynes, it was difficult to see many younger people. From where I was standing, it looked as though most of the younger people present were members of the clergy and most of them were older than me. I found myself briefly wondering what would bring in the young and eager. One of the clergy at St Ninian’s Cathedral in Perth is known to take to the stage and tap-dance from time to time. My question is, would adding a tap routine to the liturgy bring in the young folk, or would it, as I suspect, just pack the place out with even more happy pensioners?