In 2015 the stunning Birmingham Cathedral is 300 years old so it seems like a good time to catch up with the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Birmingham
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Birmingham. I am responsible for the Anglican cathedral on Colmore Row, at the heart of the business and legal district of the city. We are a place of Christian prayer and mission and each year we host 900 events of a religious, cultural, educational, heritage, community or charitable nature. This year the cathedral is celebrating its 300th anniversary.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I drive in to the city from Moseley. I work at the cathedral or from our offices near to Snowhill station. I drive a MINI. Great for getting around town and especially for getting into those small parking bays.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
The answer to this question entirely depends on the day of the week and the time of day! The drive can take as little as 15 minutes, or as long as an hour! I would love to catch a bus (very frequent through Moseley) but unfortunately I live quite a distance from a bus stop and the hours I work dictate my need for a car. I attend a lot of evening events and meetings.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
Brilliant! We find that lots of people want to come to make use of Cathedral Square and there is an attitude of openness to working together to support cultural, educational, charitable causes as well as religious activities and events. There is huge goodwill between the churches and between the different faith communities and many ways that we can work together to serve the wider community.
We make use of many off-site venues, while watching the pennies! Favourite places are Home and Café Nero.
Utopia and Colmore Bar and Grill suit our pocket for offering hospitality, or we cater ourselves from Waitrose below our offices. The cathedral team are keen bakers, so there’s always lots of cake in the office!
I am a huge fan of Cannon Hill Park, just around the corner from where I live. I walk there most days and it has everything from wilderness to ornamental gardens. The park makes a substantial difference to my quality of life.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
I just have to say our cathedral and cathedral grounds – they’re just beautiful and such a significant feature of the Colmore Business District. Second favourite is the New Library through to Brindleyplace.
Well… I’ve been known to have a glass of wine afterwork with the team!
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
Employment opportunities for young people with cheaper public transport to enable better access; better provision for those who are homeless; opportunities for those of us who are in employment to volunteer skills to support the less advantaged; cleaner air; continuing improvement of public spaces; public art to lift our spirits; less litter dropped; and more opportunities to meet our neighbours.