From the Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter

Welcome to Cathedral Life.

One of the unsung treasures of Exeter Cathedral: our Priest Vicars. In our case, retired clergy, who give freely of their time to help out with pastoral care, and our worshipping life. And they bring wisdom, experience, and objectivity to all our discussions and decision-making. We are immensely fortunate to benefit currently from the services of David Gunn-Johnson, retired Archdeacon of Barnstaple, and Ian Morter, retired Canon of our Cathedral. And this weekend we are adding to their number.  

Prebendary Julian Ould will be installed as a Priest Vicar by the Bishop at Evensong on Sunday. I’ve known Julian since he became Chaplain to the Isles of Scilly in 1996. Ten years later he became Team Rector of Totnes, from where he retired in March of this year. His installation has been somewhat delayed because of coronavirus, so some of you will already have had the chance to meet and get to know Julian and Jane since their move to Exeter. They are both keen singers, and with Julian’s background in hotel management, we know they will encourage and develop our ministry of welcome in the coming months. We are delighted to welcome them formally this weekend.

From this Sunday, Evensong will be ticketed. So if you’d like to come along at 4 o’clock, please book your place via the Cathedral website.  

And now we need your help. As you probably know, we hope that major work will soon start on the Chapter House. In the first instance, this will involve renewing the underfloor heating, and then installing a new glazed porch so that we have better access, and can leave the great wooden doors open during the day.

In due course we shall clean the beautiful medieval ceiling and renew the lighting. The Chapter is also considering what to do about the sculptures in the niches. Recent investigation has revealed that behind these are an important collection of medieval painting, which is currently obscured. 

The Chapter shall soon need to make a decision about this medieval painting, but want to hear what people think about the Chapter House and how this might best be presented as we move forward. We have a questionnaire online and, if you know the space, we would love you to participate in our consultation. Please follow the link here – it will only take a few minutes.

We hope you enjoy this week’s Cathedral Life.

From the library…

The Rose of Medicine

John of Gaddesden was one of the greatest medieval English physicians. He is even mentioned by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales. His most famous book was the Rosa Medicinae (Rose of Medicine), a wonderfully detailed look at diseases and medicine, written in 1313.
The Library’s copy will be on display at Exeter Cathedral for one day only on 22 September, from 11am to 2pm. No booking required!

Peter Walker’s The Leaves of the Trees installation on BBC Spotlight

Last night, the Reverend Canon James Mustard discussed sculptor Peter Walker’s pandemic memorial art installation at Exeter Cathedral. Why not come and see it for yourself? The Leaves of the Trees is at Exeter Cathedral until 24 September, then moves on to Sheffield Cathedral for October.

Find out more
Judging by appearance

By The Revd Preb Julian Ould
A retired priest, who lived in my last parish, left me in his will a wooden statue, which is about 18 inches high, of the Madonna and child. The statue has a history in that this priest had rescued it from a convent many years before, having found it placed in an out of the way corner with it’s face to the wall. It faced the wall because it is not the most attractive figure in the world and yet the nuns could not bring themselves to throw it away.

Tune into our live streaming services 

Although services are back on at the Cathedral, we are delighted to be able to continue our worship broadcasts every Sunday. Available, both live and on-demand, at our Facebook Video page.

Read more
Sundays@7 is moving to Sundays@6!

Starting 4 October, our Sundays@7 gathering will be moving from 7pm to 6pm, becoming Sundays@6!

Much to learn

Laura Spinney
Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World

The flu virus spanned the globe and killed countless millions, especially during the second wave in September to December 1918. It may have hastened the end of the First World War; it certainly hastened many to an early grave and disrupted politics, medicine, religion and arts.

Read the review

Keeping in touch

As we’re moving back into the Cathedral, but still aware that many are relying on online contact, there are some changes to our ‘Keeping in Touch’ arrangements.

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Please think about leaving a gift in your will. A simple letter to your solicitor saying that you would like to give to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust (charity no. 297365), or The Friends of Exeter Cathedral (charity no. 207096), will be enormously helpful to the Cathedral in the future. If you would like to discuss your thoughts or join our Legacy Circle, please get in touch with Jill Taylor, Director of Development at Thank you.
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