Cathedrals seem to be among the scarce places where congregations are growing. Attractive without demanding commitment, they introduce the Christian past into the secular present, and patiently celebrate the presence of God in a society where the divine is as optional as poetry.
They take risks, often using the arts experimentally in creative theology, venturing into the radical and the prophetic. They provide spiritual hospitality to the jaded; a place to re-imagine the familiar; space to renew and redeem lives. They offer sanctuary.
Celebrating the life of one particular cathedral, Sanctuary is a collection of poems that emerged from prize-winning poet Martyn Halsall's year in residence at Carlisle Cathedral in 2013. Based on his observations, notes and interactions, they reflect the wonders, joys and rhythm of cathedral life.