Today we remember and pray for the dead of two World Wars, and of the other conflicts of our time - the roll call of which, sadly, is added to year by year. 10.30 Mass today is a Requiem, attended by members of the Services, with a sermon by the principal RAF chaplain. We shall sound the Last Post and observe the two-minute silence.
It is sobering to read the reports of the Cathedral and diocese during World War II. The Cathedral Chronicle of October 1939 records:
Cardinal Hinsley, whose wartime broadcasts became well known (above), called for 'Faith, Sacrifice and Service', and stated that Churches would remain open throughout the war. He also issued the following Dispensation:
In the Cathedral, there was daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 1 to 2pm, and the building remained open each day until 9.30pm. The boys were evacuated, and all masses were celebrated as Low Masses. On 1 October Mass was celebrated by Canon Howlett (above), the Administrator, for the victory of the Allied Cause. During his sermon he said:
On a lighter note, the Cathedral was mercifully spared a direct hit, but one bomb fell October 1940 in the school playground adjacent. It left a crater 30 feet wide, which was filled with soil by the Cathedral sacristan, and turned into a vegetable garden. Pictures of the Cathedral's bomb crater garden appeared in the national press, and in the 'Grow More Food' campaign on Movietone News.