Monday, January 12, 2009

An open letter to the new Dean

[Over the holidays I completed a week's work at the Cathedral, doing odd jobs and helping with their Christmas outreach. The Diocese of Tasmania has recently appointed a new Dean, my open letter below is an excuse to share ideas about ministry in Hobart from the Cathedral.]

Dear Rev. Humphrey,

Congratulations on your new appointment as the Dean of Hobart at St David's Cathedral. I come from a creative family and often have lots of ideas, sometimes a few of them are useful and I'd like to share them with you. As you're already aware, the Cathedral occupies a geographically and sociologically important location in Hobart. I think as Dean you should make the Cathedral the philosophical and aesthetic 'hub' of Hobart. You should target Hobart demographically. Make the Cathedral appealing to people who'd go to the Opera and who'd also be thinking about the moral issues of our society. To that end I'd advise the following:

1. Do everything in your power to keep the high quality of the music at the Cathedral and even aim to enhance it further.
2. Use the cloister, the new carpet and the old stone look great, to hold sharp and professional mid-week theological discussion.
3. Host and/or co-sponsor an annual debate with the University of Tasmania about an ethical or political topic.
4. The website is good, but build on it by using consistently good signage across all the Cathedral's activities.
5. Encourage more concerts such the recent performance of the 'Messiah.'
6. The Cathedral I discovered owns lots of cool historical stuff like Knopwood's diary. I'm not sure how exactly it could be used at this stage but it's something worth thinking about.
7. Sponsor and host (with secular funding, both government and corporate) an annual oil painting exhibition around a central "religious" theme and offer a reasonable prize with sensible judges. Done well this could become an important event.

Regards, Luke