Four Canons Installed at Birmingham’s St Chad’s Cathedral

On Tuesday 6th February 2024, the Archdiocese of Birmingham celebrated the Installation of four Canons of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Chad.

Mgr. Mark Crisp, Parish Priest of Blessed Carlo Acutis, Wolverhampton and Fr Raymond Corbett, Diocesan Chancellor and Catholic Chaplain to Aston University were installed as Chapter Canons, the group of priests who form part of the College of Consultors, who advise the Archbishop about the life and mission of the Archdiocese.

Two priests were installed as Honorary Canons: Fr Gary Buckby, Parish Priest of Our Lady & St Rose of Lima, Weoley Castle and St Peter, Bartley Green, Dean of the Cathedral and South Birmingham Deanery and Episcopal Vicar for Religious; and Fr Douglas Lamb, Parish Priest of St Ambrose, Kidderminster.

As well as advising the bishop of the Diocese, the Chapter of Canons has a care for the Cathedral and for its liturgical life and so meets and prays together more or less monthly through the year at the Chapter Mass – usually the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Mass was celebrated by Mgr Canon Tom Farrell and in the presence of Archbishop Bernard Longley.

Mgr Tim Menezes, Cathedral Dean and Secretary of the Chapter, read the nominations for the four Canons who then made the promise of Obedience and the Profession of Faith.

In turn, the new Canons ascended the sanctuary and knelt before the Archbishop as they were dressed in the liturgical garments appropriate to their appointment as Chapter Canons and Honorary Canons.

The Archbishop presented them with a copy of the Chapter Statutes and formally admitted them saying: “I now admit you as a member of the Chapter of our Cathedral Church of St. Chad with the rights and duties of that office in the name of ✠the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”

Monsignor Mark Crisp gave an excellent and beautiful homily about St Chad’s Cathedral, and on the whole question of the prayerfulness of the temple of God and God’s presence with us always.

He said: “I have to confess that when I was reading last night all the meticulous instructions of what I was supposed to do at the beginning of  this Mass, it did remind me a bit of Jesus in today’s gospel “There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes.” Of course, as a faithful Jew, Jesus didn’t have a problem with traditions unless they got in the way of the very message they are trying to protect.

“So, thinking along that vein I was considering these fine traditions attached to the chapter and it led me to ponder on what is the purpose of Metropolitan Cathedral.

“I turned to reading a section of canon law that I must confess I don’t remember ever reading before, and the purpose seems twofold: a consultative body for the Archbishop and also to foster the worship of God here in this place- the Cathedral of St Chad.

“Then I discovered the wonderful stroke of providence in that the first reading for Tuesday week 5, that is today, is the Solemn Blessing of Solomon in the consecration of the Temple in Jerusalem from the book of Kings.

“The authors of Kings were very keen not to suggest that a temple built by human hands could contain God, who of course is totally beyond creation, but rather as the text says:  Day and night let your eyes watch over this house, over this place of which you have said, “My name shall be there.”