Welcome from the Dean
For over 900 years Southwell Minster has opened its doors every day to welcome visitors, pilgrims and worshippers. Some are local, many from further afield and across the world.
As the Dean I am privileged to walk into this beautiful cathedral every day. Every time I’m struck by its peaceful and gentle atmosphere, and I often notice a detail in a window or on a carving for the first time. There’s so much here to see. The Minster, tucked away in the delightful Nottinghamshire market town of Southwell, has witnessing tumultuous events in history – battles and wars nearby, religious squabbles, times of uncertainty and upheaval; and yet today, as over all the centuries, women and men and children find inspiration, faith and comfort surrounded by these prayer soaked stones.
We’re excited by new opportunities to discover how the Minster’s past speaks in fresh ways today. In the Chapter House the exquisite naturalistic stone carvings of leaves and animals and foliage have fascinated and delighted visitors since they were carved in the late thirteenth century. They are among the finest in Europe. It is thought that the Chapter House was built over baptism pools, for we know deep beneath here are wells – known about from Roman times – so, the town of ‘South- well’ gets its name! The water of baptism marks the entry into the Christian faith. This was a place of new beginnings.
Perhaps we’re standing in a forest, with life and growth and beauty all around us? Are the medieval stonemasons showing us how human beings, and all creation, flourish best when we draw from the deep wells of God’s life and love and goodness? The two-year project will repair, conserve and help unlock the discover more. Come and see work in progress!
First-time visitors, especially children, walk into the nave, the main body of the church, and find that their eyes are drawn upwards. Towards the figure of ‘Christus Rex’, ‘Christ the King’ prominent over the nave arch, leaning forward with arms outstretched. It’s as if Christ himself is running to embrace and welcome all who come. It’s a wonderful image of warmth and homecoming, which even total strangers feel.
Whether your visit is virtual on the website, we look forward to welcoming you to Nottinghamshire’s cathedral.
The Very Reverend Nicola Sullivan
Dean of Southwell
Prayer is an essential part of our life as a Christian. It is an opportunity to share with God the situations and people who are in our hearts. Prayer is also about listening and taking the time to listen to what God is saying to us. In this minster we have a number of services throughout the day and you are very welcome to join us. Take a look at our services calendar.
The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, when they asked him how they should pray.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.