Changes to the worshipping life at the Cathedral are to be introduced on a trial basis in September.
To encourage wider participation in midweek services by the local community, visitors and staff, Holy Communion on Wednesdays and other key days in the church’s year is to move from 11.15pm to 12.30pm. These services will now usually be held in the Western Crypt (in the Chapel of Our Lady Undercroft) which is more accessible than the Jesus Chapel in the Eastern Crypt where the services are currently held.
To further enhance key moments in the church’s year, the Dean and Chapter have decided to introduce a Sung Eucharist (with choir and sermon) at 5.30pm on the Principal Feasts of the Epiphany (6 January), Candlemas (2 February) and the Annunciation (25 March). There will be a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer at 12.30pm on those days (and other Principal Feasts which fall on a weekday – Ascension Day and All Saints’ Day).
Some changes will also be made to the calendar of saints celebrated at Canterbury, to emphasise some of the key figures in the history and witness of the Cathedral, including Alphege (19 April), Anselm (21 April), Dunstan (19 May), Augustine (26 May) and Gregory the Great (3 September).
The Dean, Dr Robert Willis said: “Canterbury Cathedral is primarily a worshipping community, one that stretches back to St Augustine and continues that unbroken rhythm of prayer and worship to this day.
“As we seek to ‘show people Jesus’ and witness to Christ afresh in each generation, we remain responsive to living faith in particular times and circumstances, within the ongoing story of Canterbury Cathedral.”