Chelmsford Cathedral Chelmsford Cathedral

Speaking Truth to Power: How and Why Cathedrals Touch Lives


Canon Ivor Moody has published an article on cathedrals in the International Journal of Literature and Arts.

Ivor reflects; In an age where cathedrals continue to attract and inspire many, a powerful, persuasive argument for their success story is often cited in their beauty, grandeur, independence and immense historical and architectural importance. With great power though comes great responsibility and the temptation for its misuse, for which cathedrals by virtue of their size, status and spheres of influence are particularly susceptible. This article attempts a re-evaluation of the source of that power. Through a reflection on personal experience, an exploration of liturgy and a theological assessment of the relationship between the border and the centre, it recalls the Gospel imperative that real power resides in the first being last, and the Kingdom of God belonging to the poor. It argues that the very thing which gives the cathedral its authority, influence and responsibility- the cathedra- concerns the frailty and vulnerability of a bishop which, through her apostolic ministry centered and emanating from the ‘mother church’, brings true meaning and relevance to the cathedrals’ task of drawing alongside and giving theological and spiritual meaning to people’s own frailty, vulnerability and pain. It concludes with the suggestion that, consequently, cathedrals can be places which envelop all of us.

To read the article, please click here.

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