2016 marked the 125th year since the Consecration of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne.
From the Dean
Our beautiful Cathedral is a wonderful landmark at the heart of Melbourne: it’s at once timeless and yet anchored in the present. It both reflects a tradition of prayer that extends back to the earliest beginnings of Christian life and yet looks forward. It is given shape by the architecture and art of the high Middle Ages, upheld by the engineering accomplishments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is filled with the prayers of the present day. I give thanks for our forebears whose vision and determination, munificence and skill, led to the completion and consecration of St Paul’s Cathedral 125 years ago.
In this anniversary year, we rightly give thanks for the accomplishments of previous generations, and the achievements of the past. I give thanks for previous Deans and Chapter members who have provided visionary leadership and faithful stewardship of our Cathedral, and for congregants and visitors throughout our 125 years who have hallowed our building by their prayers, and their devotion to this iconic holy place in the heart of our city. I give thanks for my colleagues on Chapter, who carry the gift of governance into this generation, and for the generosity and dedication of you – our members and friends – who resource our ministry by your giving of your own gifts and talents and your financial contributions.
In particular, I give thanks for the completion of the renewal of our Cathedral Ministry and Administrative facilities: for the Cathedral Education and Ministry Centre with its new Barbara Darling Room, Common Room, Canons’ Vestry and supporting facilities, the new June Nixon Music School, and the administrative offices on the Ground Floor of the Cathedral Buildings. These new facilities were enabled by generous giving of our congregation – we managed to raise in excess of $800,000 through individual donations, philanthropic major gifts, and family trusts – to contribute to the overall cost of creating new spaces for ministry and ad-ministry. I believe that these will resource our mission and ministry in the city and diocese for the next generation, and I look forward to seeing the Cathedral Buildings in full use.
125 Anniversary Hymn Competition
As part of the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, an International Hymn Competition was held to find new celebratory Pauline hymns.
St Paul’s Cathedral acknowledges the generous support of the S. R. Stoneman Foundation in sponsoring this project.
The Convenor of the competition reported:
‘On Saturday, 24 October, 2015 the judging panel met at St Paul’s Cathedral, in accordance with the published hymn competition guidelines. The panel consisted of musician and Old Testament Scholar, the Reverend Dr Merryl Blair; the Reverend Canon Dr David Cole (Convenor of the Competition); musician and New Testament Scholar, the Reverend Canon Professor Dorothy Lee; Dean of Melbourne, the Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe; and Director of Music of St Paul’s Cathedral, Mr Philip Nicholls, with support and assistance from Sub-Organist Mr Lachlan Redd.
‘The panel was delighted to have received almost 50 entries from across Australia and overseas. Worthwhile submissions were made in both the competition categories: Level 1, Newly composed text for existing music; and Level 2, Newly composed text and music.
‘Short-listing was not easy, given the high quality of the submissions. However, the panel carefully considered each hymn, looking for evidence of creativity and inspiration, for cathedral-style hymns that could be used as processionals or offertories in a large space such as St Paul’s, and whose texts focused on the life or teachings of the Apostle Paul. We were not disappointed, and were able to select winners at each level, as well as highly commend an additional entry.
‘The competition demonstrated that we have some very skilled hymn writers whose dedication to providing resources for congregational song make important contributions to the life of the Christian Church. We thank all who submitted entries, and warmly congratulate the winners.’
Level 1 Winner: Shirley Erena Murray for her hymn All who walk the Christian journey
Level 1 Honourable Mention: Edward Carter for his hymn Gospel truth proclaimed by Paul
Level 2 Winners: Helen Wiltshire (text) and Margaret Gunn (music) for their hymn We know God’s love
These hymns were first sung in the Cathedral as part of the 125th Anniversary Dedication Festival on Sunday 24 January, 2016, and throughout the anniversary year.