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On the 22nd June 2023, sixteen members of St. John’s MU Dumfries travelled by mini bus to visit the Cathedral at Carlisle.

After some slight difficulty navigating the bus to the venue, we disembarked and were welcomed by Steph, who directed us to the Fratry for our morning coffee. There we were greeted by members of the MU branch of Stanwix with Cathedral, Suzi and Barbara, with huge smiles and a lovely gift bag with a card, Diocesan magazine and starry tea towel from the Cathedral. It was lovely to exchange MU greetings with them.

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Soon it was time for Keith, our guide, to find us and to start the tour outside at the wonderful model of the original building. He pointed out the differences to today’s building and then took us inside where he proceeded to warn us about the stonemasons’ errors in the arches, but, at the same time, reassuring us that the building was quite safe! He had a wonderfully light touch when imparting important facts, and explained how the magnificent starry ceiling came about. He described the carving and the glass in the choir area and then took us into the locked chapel housing the priceless Brougham Triptych. This he described in detail, together with its history and the story of its restoration, leaving us with a conundrum. What did happen to the missing donkey?

All too soon it was time for the daily Eucharist where we remembered St. Alban, the first British martyr. A story familiar to me as my home town is St. Albans in Hertfordshire. Thanks to Canon Michael, for including the work of the MU in his prayers.

Lunch was next and was ready and waiting for us in the Fratry, salads, quiches and a selection of delicious sandwiches followed by fruit and tray bakes together with copious tea and coffee.

A quick visit to the Cathedral shop and then the Treasury before we gathered in the upper hall for an anthology of dances and songs without words for flute and piano, performed by David Edmonds and Charles Edmondson. This was a delightful end to our day, much enjoyed by all.

Thank you to all the Cathedral staff for making our day run so smoothly, and a special thank you to Suzi and to Deb, Diocesan President for Carlisle Diocese, for helping us to plan this outing and for giving us such a warm welcome.

Carolynne Sorrell, Branch Leader


St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.


You can donate to St John’s by credit or debit card by following these links.

St John’s Bellringers on Border Life video


Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.


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