Dear Friends in the USA,
Greetings for Christmas 2016
May you and all who are dear to you be filled with God’s love, joy and peace as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!
What an amazing welcome my husband Alan and I have received since we arrived in Lincoln in September. The installation service on 22 October was a memorable and historic occasion as I was placed in my stall as 84th Dean of Lincoln.
We are settling in an enjoying our new home at the Deanery. Already it is becoming a place of warm hospitality and I very much hope to welcome many of you during the coming year. It was lovely to have the opportunity to host a day in Derbyshire for Brantley, Darci, and Peter Knowles last summer during
their visit to England.
Needless to say I am greatly looking forward to our visit to the Foundation and your kind invitation to speak at the annual luncheon on 20 April 2017.
It has been an extremely fruitful year in the life of the cathedral. We press ahead with our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project to come to fruition. We will know the outcome in Spring 2017. A successful result will pave the way for an exciting visitor experience with a new visitor centre and exhibition space, a discovery zone for children’s education, and new café and landscaped gardens. Part of this funding will enable us to restore Exchequergate Arch, and the magnificent Romanesque frieze and Gallery of Kings on the West Front. In the meantime Carol Heidschuster and the expert team of glaziers, masons, joiners, and conservationists in the Works department have undertaken significant work on the North West Turret and the north transepts with a busy schedule for the year ahead.
2017 commemorates the famous Battle of Lincoln Fair in 1217 and also the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Charter of the Forest. As I am sure you are aware Lincoln Cathedral proudly owns one of only two surviving copies and is the only cathedral which owns a Magna Carta of 1215 and Charter of the Forest of 1217. Just as in 2015 we will be holding a dinner in the Nave of the Cathedral to commemorate the events around the Charter of the Forest on 22 September 2017. We intend to release tickets in the New Year but if you are interested in attending please let Darci know.
During the summer there will be an exhibition of many fine manuscripts of the period and I look forward to being able to give you more detail in the New Year. Lincoln will also have a Knights Trail presenting the opportunity to walk around our beautiful city and look at 35 painted knight sculptures along the way. We will host the auction of the Knights in the cathedral on 30 September 2017 with all monies raised going to the Nomad Trust/YMCA for the benefit of the homeless.
Wishing you the joy of the angels and the peace of the Christ child this Christmas and in the year to come
The Very Revd Christine Wilson
Dean of Lincoln