On a cold April afternoon, still reeling from the excitement of the second year field trip to Malawi, I officially began my dissertation research.
I visited Guildford Cathedral to meet with the Dean of the Cathedral (Dianna Gwilliams) and Director of Operations (Matt O’Grady) to discuss my dissertation. After a fascinating hour long meeting I had more options than my 10,000 word limit could cater for! Moreover the biggest challenge so far has been deciding on the focus.After much deliberation and assistance from my supervisor, a title was created:
“The ‘Mother Church’ and its parishes: relationships between the central Cathedral at Guildford and local congregations in an Anglican diocese of diverse worship.”
The Cathedral is seen to be in a unique position with the British landscape and is viewed as the ‘mother church’ of the diocese. I will be studying how this relationship between the cathedral and other parishes manifests itself. Through conducting interviews and focus groups with local churches I will assess the factors which affect the relationship between churches and the cathedrals. In addition, I will be observing how attitudes towards the cathedral vary from parish to parish.
I was privileged to be offered the position of the placement linked dissertation scheme. The cathedral has an exclusive position within the community and interacts with so many members of society; whether through music, art or worship. Having grown up in the diocese of Guildford I surprisingly haven’t visited the cathedral since my Year 6 leaving service at the tender age of 11. I look forward to learning more about their role within society through this placement.