What Libraries can do for Churches

 

In this season of Beckyconferences, I thought I would share a key message from a conference I went to last week.  This was the triennial conference of the Cathedral Libraries and Archives Association.  We were studying how the Cathedrals can help and support the mission and worship of Cathedrals, and this could be relevant to parishes too.  How do you use the heritage of your building to provide a new way to start conversations about the Christian message and the life and work of the Church?

As Cathedral Archivist I have in my care some wonderful items from the past of the Cathedral, for example a Victorian copy of Piers Plowman, Archbishop Laud’s backgammon set and a relic of the stake at which Bishop Hooper was burnt. These items bring to life the humans who were involved in major historical changes in our church.  Whenever we open the library for tours, items such as these and our historic books bring new people into our wonderful Cathedral, and help them to connect with the story of our faith’s past.  I am looking forward to working more on this use of the historic collection of the Cathedral in future.  What have you got within your Church that could be used in this way to bring the non-religious and the non-believing into your building on their own terms?

If you would like to visit the Library, there are still a few tickets available here for our last public tours this year – Saturday 8 October at 11am, 12noon, 2pm and 3pm.

By Rebecca Phillips, Trust & Pastoral Officer

 

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