Good art does more than simply provide a replica of reality. Instead it points to the true meaning of reality around us. It seeks to transfigure and transform our view of the world, so that we can see it anew. Art therefore intervenes in our lives by capturing our imagination and transforming us: we learn what is good and true through the beautiful.
The story of the Transfiguration provides a theological parallel to this view. Here the true meaning of Christ’s life is given to the three disciples through an image of him that reaches beyond the surface events of human life. Painted icons of the transfiguration point to this power of God breaking through into human reality. Therefore this story sums up something that Christians regard as central to their faith: the world as we know it can be understood at a deeper level, and interventions by God in our world can change human perceptions about life.
This is theologically significant. To be a Christian is to be an optimist: Christians hope. The Christian story is predicated on the idea that God comes into his world to reveal himself, and thereby transform and renew creation. Things are not simply doomed to remain as they are. Instead Christians believe in a story that has a meaning that is being revealed by God, and that the end will be a consummation of all things for the good. We are optimistic because we believe that God’s power can intervene in the world for good.
I want to suggest that this is an important message in a world in which it is often regarded that meaning is impossible to find, that little can change, and that all is left is to despair. At the meta-level powerful elites seem to control the financial futures of us all, whilst at the individual level there appears to be a tendency in current society to write off people or issues that seem to be difficult because society has given up the hope that change can happen. Therefore society can end up dehumanising certain people, and can become politically complacent about unjust societal structures on the grounds that necessity requires them.
To be a Christian is to believe that anything is possible: we do not have to acquiesce at the political and economic oppression of peoples and nations. Instead we are called to look for divine purpose and meaning that gives hope and brings truth. As you look at the art exhibition in the Nave, you might want to ask what truths it reveals to you, and how these might transform your perspective.
Canon Anthony Rustell
Welcome to St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral Choir from Glasgow who will be leading the music at our services today and have been singing for us all week.
Refreshments From today until the end of August, thanks to our volunteers, homemade lemonade will be served outside the Cathedral, weather permitting, after the 10.30am Eucharist.
Portsmouth and Hampshire Arts Society Art exhibition until Friday 11th August. Annual exhibition and sale of original art work in the Nave.
Services and Events The List giving details of services, including visiting choirs whilst the Cathedral Choirs are on holiday, and our monthly Events Listing are both available on the website or to pick up in the Cathedral.
Cathedral Shop If you would be interested in joining the team of volunteers in the Cathedral Shop please speak to our Finance Officer, Nicky Taylor: 023 9289 2965 or email email@example.com.
Parking At weekends, and on weekday evenings, the St George’s Building (St Thomas’s Street) and Ravelin car parks are operated as pay and display for £2 per day.
Pantomime Lunch The 12th annual Pantomime Lunch will be held at Abarbistro on Friday, 22nd September, as we once again support the EC Roberts Centre and give some of the children a wonderful time at the Kings Theatre Show ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. To celebrate the Centre’s 30th anniversary we will be delighted to receive donations, from any who will not be joining us at the lunch, which will go towards the children’s Christmas party. Ticket enquiries to Gerry Chilton.
Community Groups The Lunch Club, Toddler Group and Craft and Chat are on summer break until the first week of September.
Living Faith Course – Module 6 Challenging Choices Christian Ethics Bookings for the revised and improved discipleship course are now being taken for the September 2017 term. The course is tailored for anyone wishing to learn more about Christianity, as an ideal follow-up to the Bishop’s Foundation Course, or as preparation for theological and vocational training. If you know of anyone who might benefit from the course, please encourage them to enrol: http://bit.ly/2t7tdjW.
Jam Making It is now the season for jam and conserve making so please think about making some for our Christmas Fair on Saturday 2nd December.
Family Activity Day 10.00am to 3.00pm Thursday 17th August. Come along and join in with our craft activities based on our Cathedral Annual Theme, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ exploring ecology and the environment through science, faith, and the arts. At 1.00pm, we will screen the film WALL.E. Spend just a couple of hours or the whole day with us. Bring a packed lunch to eat on the Cathedral Green. Children must be accompanied by an adult – £3.00 per child.
Lunchtime Live our weekly recital series starts again on Thursday 7th September at 1.10pm. It will be the Cathedral Sub-Organist, Oliver Hancock’s, last recital here before he moves to take up the post of Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick. Free entry, with retiring collection. Light refreshments on sale from 12.30pm.
Evening Organ Concert Series First in the series will be given by Gordon Stewart, Resident Organist, Huddersfield Town Hall at 6.30pm on Saturday 30th September during our Patronal Festival. The series celebrates the completion of the 1861 Nicholson Organ and the unveiling of the Cathedral’s new en-chamade ‘Trompete de Maris’ which will be installed at the end of August.
Heritage Open Days 10.00am-4.00pm Friday 8th–Sunday 10th September. Enjoy indoor and outdoor tours with our Cathedral Guides. Come and see the original wedding certificate of Catharine of Braganza and Charles II from their Royal Wedding in Portsmouth, the original ‘Tangier Plates’, and also rare documents and artefacts on display from our archives.
Junior Sing! 9.30am Saturday 9th September. A choir for children in Years 3-6. Come and have fun singing! Refreshments provided during the morning for children, as well as bacon sandwiches, tea, coffee, and morning papers for parents. For more information contact Oliver Hancock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
All those in need including: Martin, Jill, Brian, Tim, Graeme, Alex, Helen, and Frank.
And those who have died: Julian Linington (Cathedral Memorial Service 2.30pm Tuesday 22nd August), Martin Randle, and Walter Walden RIP.
The full notices are on the following link: Notices 6 Aug 17