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Show of unity as Norwich cathedrals strengthen links

In a show of church unity, the Dean of St John's Catholic Cathedral in Norwich is set to be appointed as an ecumenical canon of the city's Anglican Cathedral by the Bishop of Norwich, alongside a senior Methodist minister and independent church pastor.

The appointments will take place during theWeek of Prayer for Christian Unitynext January, when Bishop Grahamwill welcome the Very Rev David Paul, Dean of St John's Catholic Cathedral, theRev Julian Pursehouse, Chair of the East Anglia Methodist District and Pastor Jon NormanofSoul Church.

The Bishop of Norwich said:"These three appointments are signs of the good relationships between the different churches in Norwich and more widely in the Diocese. I am delighted that Fr David Paul and Rev Julian Pursehouse have accepted my invitation to become ecumenical canons of our cathedral church, illustrating the partnership in the gospel we enjoy with the Catholic and Methodist churches.

"I am delighted too that Jon Norman from Soul Church has accepted my invitation to become an ecumenical canon. Along with his wife Chantel, he leads a very large and growing community church and has quickly become a significant church leader in our city, having returned after spending his younger years here. We pray for God's blessing on the ministries of our three new ecumenical canons and for a deepening of the relationships between all our churches."

Fr Paul said: "I am very pleased that Bishop Graham has appointed me as a canon. It shows a strong friendship and ecumenical heart. We have very good relations between the two cathedrals and this gesture cements and builds on that good relationship."

In a further link between the two cathedrals, the Anglican cathedral has recently given some wooden stalls to be installed in the newly-named Canons Chapel at St John's.

The Very Rev Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich,said:”The Dean and Chapter are delighted that Bishop Graham has appointed three new ecumenical canons for the Cathedral. We hope through these appointments to continue to strengthen our good relationships with our brothers and sisters at the Catholic Cathedral, in the Methodist District and with the independent free churches. We have so much to give and to receive from each other and most important of all this gives us the opportunity to think further about our joint witness to Christ.”

Pastor Jon, Fr Paul and Rev Julian, will be installed at Evensong in Norwich Cathedral on Sunday January 22 at 3.30pm. The choirs from the two cathedrals will sing in each other's venues during services in the week for Christian unity.

Pictured above are the two cathedrals in Norwich.