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I seem to be spending Advent in cathedral

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

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SECOND week of Advent checklist – carol services and concerts two, mince pies one (good), glasses of mulled wine four (bad), new Bishops one (very good).

The new Bishop of Bath and Wells will be Rt Rev Peter Hancock, current Bishop of Basingstoke. He will be installed in the Cathedral some time in 2014.

It feels to me however that I should have been installed in the cathedral at the beginning of the week as I seem to be spending almost as much time in the cathedral as anywhere else.

Saturday was the Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society's performance of Handle's Messiah – an absolutely wonderful piece, performed with the outstanding ability we would all expect from this hugely impressive choir.

I managed to spend a few hours outside on Sunday at Wells Rotary Club's Reindeer Parade, this highly successful event always draws a good crowd and 2013 was no exception.

I was pleased to be able to make my contribution to the event by making the opening and closing remarks, but enormous gratitude should go to the Rotary Club and to all the sponsors and musicians who manage to arrange ad fund the event and keep us entertained on a cold Sunday in December.

My first carol service of the year was on Sunday evening, when I was the guest of Wells Cathedral was though I have subsequently attended the Somerset Music's Christmas Celebration and have at least one service or concert in the Cathedral to attend for each of the next 6 days.

Fortunately Wells Cathedral is a very beautiful and special place, so spending so much time there could not be called a hardship.

This morning I decided I was not attending the cathedral enough this week, so this afternoon (Tuesday) I will be attending evensong which the man who is to be our new bishop will be attending. I look forward to welcoming Bishop Peter (I'm sure it won't be at all confusing to have yet another Bishop called Peter) to the city on behalf of Wells' civic community.

On Sunday December 15 at 6:30pm the Civic Carol Service is taking place in St Thomas's Church.

The service will be led by my chaplain, the Archdeacon of Wells, Nicola Sullivan, but has been largely designed by me. I have asked a number of members of the Wells community to take part in the service, singing, playing and reading.

There will of course be traditional carols which I hope the whole congregation will enjoy singing and a retiring collection will be taken in aid of the two charities I am supporting this year: Mendip YMCA and Cricket Without Boundaries.

I do hope that many of you who read my diary in the Wells Journal will support this event, which I would like to be a service not just for the city council but for the whole community.

Following the service there will be refreshments which are open to all.

Theo Butt Philip

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