RE PGCE trainees were over awed by the magnificent splendour of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral during a visit on Friday 20th September. Once again we were hosted by our superb tour guide Helen, a former secondary school teacher and a fount of knowledge. Helen explored the deep symbolism and religious significance of the Cathedral and its history.
We started our tour at the West door with its wonderful Tracey Emin art, “I felt you and I knew that you loved me”, a statement that could be interpreted as an expression of the Christian message. Helen explained the role of the Cathedral within the diocese, its outreach work into the community and the vision of Giles Gilbert Scott who designed the Great Space. The beauty of the nave and the main well contrasted with the intimacy of the quiet spiritual spaces of the Holy Spirit Chapel and the Lady Chapel.
We concluded our tour at the High Altar and the East Window, a fitting place to end our exploration with the empty cross and the symbolising the resurrection as testament to the Christian message.
I have little doubt that everyone was impressed and that there will be repeat bookings as a result. Within the RE team we aim to give our trainees a network of contacts within the faith communities so they can use these experiences to deepen their learners understanding of the real presence of people of faith within our communities.
The RE PGCE group enjoyed a fantastic tour of Liverpool’s impressive Anglican Cathedral, courtesy of the Cathedral’s specialist education team. The tour was led by Helen Roberts, a former Head of Music, so the ideal tour guide with a great understanding of the needs of new teachers. As in previous visits Helen provided a very detailed and interesting overview of the Cathedral’s fascinating history and its special role in the local community.
We explored the religious symbolism of the Cathedral, but most importantly the outreach work in the local community, ecumenical links with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities of Merseyside. We also learnt about the work of the Archbishop and his commitment to social justice in the recent Hillsborough enquiry. Trainees went away better equipped to teach Christianity with that all important understanding of its role in the lives of the local community.
Year 1 Undergraduates completed their History of Christian Thought and Culture Module with a Christian Question Time. Three Christian Curches were represented by Tom Cullinan, (Benedictine Monk, formerly at Ampleforth and presently a priest within the Archdiocese of Liverpool), Melvyn Kelly, (Methodist Minister in the Lancashire West Circuit and a member of the Chaplaincy Service at Edge Hill) and Tony Harrington ( Core Leader of Today’s Community Church, Wigan) together with Isaac Olurankinse. Jason took the Dimbleby role in chairing the discussion which was wide ranging and informative.
What do you believe happens after death?
Do you agree with gay marriage ceremonies in Church?
Do you think Jesus will return to earth?
Are men and women equal?
Do you think there are advantages or disadvantages to priests being celibate?
How do you explain the Trinity?
Can the rich get into heaven?
How damaging to the Christian Church are controversies such as the Child abuse scandals in the Catholic Priesthood.
Do miracles happen nowadays?
Is Christianity the only way?
The answers caused a lively debate and gave students a fascinating insight into the different theologies of individuals within these three different denominations.