Any church which possesses a cathedra is a cathedral. A cathedra is a bishop’s chair or throne, the seat of his power and authority, found in cathedrals. Typically, an Anglican or Catholic priest will work up the ranks to become a bishop with his own cathedral. Although they are only used ceremonially (a bishop would not, for example, go home and watch TV on his cathedra after a long day’s work), it is an unfortunate picture of a leader sitting down.

With some exceptions, it strikes me that many pastors and ministers who forsake individual churches and pastoral ministry to run denominations are epitomised by this chair. Sitting down while writing notes, dictating memos, poring over policies- all things which might be important and even supportive of those on the frontline- is a shame. Paul likens the Christian walk to one of fighting, building and racing. I often marvel that in the world of education, the best classroom teachers are promoted to Headmasters and Deputies so they might spend less time teaching and more time sitting. I am glad we are an independent church and unbeholden to some office-bound, throne-occupying hierarchy with its various diktats, procedures, edicts and systems. There is no progression or promotion open to a regular church pastor, but then such things ought not be in his sights.

Blackburn's cathedra