News Author: The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington

Regarding the Sale of St. James Commons

September 16, 2020

Yesterday morning, Bishop Lee announced that the Bishop & Trustees of the diocese have decided to offer 65 E Huron St. for sale in the coming months. Explaining the decision, the Bishop said that “maintaining an underused diocesan headquarters in an expensive building on prime real estate is not good stewardship of diocesan assets."
Cathedral leadership was surprised to read that this decision was arrived at “after considerable study and consultation." In the fall of 2019, anticipating the need to address both capital repairs and our expanding ministries, the Cathedral Chapter attempted to initiate a series of conversations with members of Bishop & Trustees to discuss the future of the cathedral and offices. Two meetings were held in the winter at which no proposals or suggestions were forthcoming from B&T, and our requests to continue the conversation during the spring and summer were simply ignored. Whatever consultation has led to the current decision has not involved the cathedral.
While we are therefore pleased to note the assurance contained in the Bishop’s letter that “any sale would include financial and other accommodations to help secure space for [the cathedral’s] programs and community life” we do not know what this might mean in real terms. As the mother church of the diocese, we have endeavored to be an active and equal partner with the Bishop and his staff in all aspects of the mission we share in Christ’s name. Notwithstanding the decision which has now been publicly announced to the wider church, it is our hope that genuine consultation about the implications of this decision will be established in the near future.
Craig Elder
Senior Warden
Nicole Spencer
Junior Warden
Erin Maus
The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington
Dean of the Cathedral

To read the announcement from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, click here

"Turn to the Path of Love" - The Dean's Response to the George Floyd Protests in Chicago

May 31, 2020

The following is a statement about this weekend's protests in Chicago in response to the murder of George Floyd, written by the Very Rev. Dominic Barrington on May 31st.

George Floyd could not breathe - a fact of which nobody was in any doubt, including the man charged with his murder, and many bystanders. Derek Chauvin’s knee remained a crushing force on Floyd’s neck for very nearly three minutes after he had already become unresponsive. The end result was inevitable.

It was a moment when the Minneapolis Police Department, if not the entire nation, went very low - and not just because of Mr Floyd’s murder, but because it was far from being a one-off event. As President Obama observed two days ago, “for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’…. We can and must be better.”

And that ‘better’ is well described by our Presiding Bishop, as being a call to follow ‘the path of love’ - because “Love does not look like the harm being caused by some police or some protestors in our cities… Love looks like all of us…standing up and saying ‘We can do better than this. We can be better than this.”

At a time when we are all too conscious of racial inequality, both through last week’s events in Minneapolis, let alone the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color, let’s strive to follow Michelle Obama’s call to “go high”, which she defines as ‘not seeking revenge’ or responding ‘from a place of anger or vengefulness’, but seeking to ‘reflect the solution’. 

On this day that the church celebrates the breath of the Holy Spirit offering the world a new vision of unity and harmony, may those of any faith and none turn to the path of love, and help us all to ‘go high’. Nothing could be more needed in our nation and our world.

Public Worship & Activities Suspended Until Further Notice

March 13, 2020

A Letter from The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington, Dean of the Cathedral

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the decision to suspend all worship and other activities at the Cathedral until further notice, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This follows a request from Bishop Lee to us and every church in the diocese, to take such a step in order to help slow the spread of the virus and to show our care for the wider community whom we serve in Christ’s name. This will take effect Saturday, March 14.

We ask that you do not come to St. James on Sunday morning. We will not be offering any services at all, and in the spirit of the bishop’s request and all the advice being offered by civic authorities, I must ask you to stay home.

There are many online resources for private worship available to members of the Episcopal Church, both in terms of live-streamed services and access to material from the Book of Common Prayer. This coming Sunday, I suggest you connect to the service that will be streamed from the National Cathedral, at which the Presiding Bishop will be preaching.

During the week, the Cathedral will remain open for private prayer, as is currently the case. It can be accessed from the west doors on Wabash St. However, St. James Commons (the office building) will be closed to the public, and there will be no access to the Cathedral from the entrance on Huron St.

My colleagues and I remain fully contactable by phone and email, and I encourage you to reach out to us if you have any concerns at any point. While we are separated from each other physically, we remain connected in the unbreakable bonds of Christ’s Body.
I will continue to pray for you, and for all affected by this pandemic.