30 May 2021

Praying in Ordinary Time 2021:
1, Hoy Trinity Cathedral, Gibraltar

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, the Anglican cathedral in Gibraltar, was built in 1825-1832 and is noted for its Moorish revival-style architecture (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During the Seasons of Lent and Easter and in the week after the Day of Pentecost, I took some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, photographs of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

Today is Trinity Sunday, and since last Monday (24 May 2021), the day after Pentecost, we have been in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar. Having posted photographs from over 100 churches, cathedrals, chapels and synagogues in recent weeks, I have decided to continue this prayer diary in Ordinary Time.

To mark Trinity Sunday today (30 May 2021), my photographs this morning are from the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar, and later this week my photographs are from six cathedrals in Spain.

Inside the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity … one of three cathedrals serving the Diocese in Europe (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Cathedral Square was originally built as a church for the Anglican civilian population. The cathedrak was built in 1825-1832, and is noted for its Moorish revival architecture. It was consecrated in 1838 in the presence of Queen Adelaide. With the formation of the Diocese of Gibraltar it became a cathedral in 1842. Today it is one of the three cathedrals of the Diocese in Europe – the other two are in Brussels and Valetta, Malta.

After World War II, new vestries were added along with a second chapel dedicated to Saint George in memory of those who died in the Mediterranean during World War II, and a small stone with a cross from the ruins of Coventry Cathedral was set into the wall.

An explosion in 1951 caused substantial damage to the cathedral, lifting the roof and smashing the stained glass.

In 1980, the Diocese of Gibraltar was extended and become the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. The Diocese in Europe, as it is generally known, is geographically the largest diocese of the Church of England, covering one-sixth of the Earth’s landmass and stretching from Morocco, through Europe, Turkey and the former Soviet Union to the Russian Far East.

The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, Bishop Rob Innes, a former Chancellor of the Pro-Cathedral of Holy Trinity Brussels, was consecrated bishop on 20 July 2014. The Archdeaconry of Gibraltar, Italy and Malta consists of Andorra, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal and Spain. Archdeacon David Waller, who was appointed in 2020, is based in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol, and crosses the tiny border almost every day.

The Very Revd Ian Tarrant has been the Dean of Gibraltar since last October (13 October 2020). The cathedral ministry is a visible witness to Christian compassion and social conscience, working with migrant workers and refugees and using the cathedral space for crèche and counselling facilities.

Gibraltar is an open, tolerant society, with a large and visible Jewish community. Roman Catholics are in the majority (78 per cent), but the Anglican presence (7 per cent) remains significant.

The High Altar in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 3: 1-17 (NRSVA):

3 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ 3 Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ 4 Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ 5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9 Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ 10 Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11 ‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

A modern icon of the Trinity in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (Trinity Sunday, 30 May 2021) invites us to pray:

Loving God,
May we be inspired by your divine partnership,
As we work with our partners.
Let us learn from each other and grow in fellowship.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The Annunciation depicted in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Gibraltar … tomorrow (31 May) is the Feast of the Visitation (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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