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Cathedrals Today

While preparing for my next two trips to explore and visit cathedrals new to me, I was triggered by a Google search to remember an article I'd read in February, sent to me by an Episcopal priest I know in Hartford, CT. In the February 13 issue of The Living Church, the featured article is "A Cathedral for the 21st Century" by Duo Dickinson. Dickinson, a architect and published writer and author, addresses the role and functions of the Connecticut's Episcopal diocese's cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral of Hartford. It speaks to the effects of Covid on attendance at worship and other programs, in the cathedral which had just celebrated one hundred years as a cathedral, and is now 5 years from celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of its founding. It is a cogent and intelligent read, which I highly recommend to your attention.

The article includes several wonderful photos, especially one of a lighted inside shot from the balcony into the nave and sanctuary. I was able to visit Christ Church Cathedral in October 2016 while on a trip focused on New York City cathedrals, in which I was able to also include most of those in Connecticut. I offer several other photos from that trip for your consideration.

The Google search that served as a reminder to share this article (I have been authorized) was an archival New York Times article from July 15, 1935, reporting on a sermon at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in uptown Manhattan by the then Canon of St John's Cathedral in Providence, Rhode Island (de consecrated in 2012). The Rev. Dr. Bernard I. Bell preached "Fight on Unbelief Urged on Church" saying the church "will get nowhere until it recognizes that most of the people round about us are no longer Christian in belief and motivation, because they think that modern knowledge has done us in." It was one of multiple stories on page 21 of the Monday edition where sermons were excepted and reported.

While I am soon off on my next trip, to the state of Washington and a week's cruise to Alaska's lower waterways (Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, Sitka and Juneau have cathedrals I haven't visited), the trip I might take in June would be to eastern New England, starting in Portland, Maine and ending in Providence, Rhode Island. (My fall return from Europe will put me in Boston, so I will leave the 5 nearest to, and walk-able from the port for late October.) Checking for potential Orthodox and other ecclesiastic cathedrals is a step in my planning process.

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