DERBY Anglican Cathedral is to hold services in a neighbouring
Roman Catholic church, St Mary's, for the next five months, while
it undergoes a government-funded refurbishment.
It is thought to be the first time that Anglican cathedral
services have been held in an RC church.
The boys' and girls' choirs of the cathedral will travel the 400
yards to St Mary's three times a week for evensong services for the
next few months. At weekends, the cathedral will be able to open
for its usual services, albeit without electricity.
The first cathedral evensong was held in St Mary's on Monday
night. The Assistant Curate at the cathedral, the Revd Andy
Trenier, said: "It was a terrific service. . . One of the parents
who regularly attends evensong came up afterwards and said it was
his first time in a Roman Catholic church. And we had more people
than usual, too.
"When we knew we needed to find a new home, we knew we could ask
Fr Tim [O'Sullivan], at St Mary's. It seemed the most natural thing
in the world. He has worked very hard to build ecumenical links in
Derby, and he was delighted to help." Relocating the choirs, music,
books, and robes, three times a week, was "quite a feat", but one
they were embracing, Mr Trenier said.
The cathedral has been given £650,000 in government grants, and
has raised more than £120,000 itself towards the refurbishment,
which includes work on the heating, wiring, and roof.
The Dean, the Very Revd Dr John Davies, said: "The very generous
£650,000 grants from the World War One fund, together with several
legacies and money raised locally, is allowing us to remake this
cathedral for this and the next generation; new wiring, lighting,
and heating provision, together with a complete redecoration of the
interior, will update and refresh this glorious place for years to
"This jewel at the heart of the city of Derby will shine again
by the late summer.
"We are also hugely grateful to our ecumenical neighbours, whose
generosity is allowing some sung services midweek to be held at St
Mary's RC church, Derby. With a flourishing cathedral centre across
the road, the cathedral will be remade for public ministry to begin
all over again, very soon."