Churches, Cathedrals and Countless Options!

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.

Cathedral interior

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2 thoughts on “Churches, Cathedrals and Countless Options!

  1. What a brilliant dissertation to be doing. I am sure you have good resources through college and the cathedral itself. There is a national cathedrals organisation called the Association of English Cathedrals which I used to be a member of, and of which Guildford Canon Julie Gittoes is now a member. They’d be able to give you more of a national perspective if you wanted it.

    Hope it all goes well.

    • Thank you so much for your response. I will get in contact with the association as that would be really useful.

      Kind regards,
      Beth Sadler

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