The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

A Cathedra in the Cathedral


On Sunday 12th September, Bishop Tom Brown came in world and preached in the Cathedral. It was a wonderful occasion and much appreciated by all who attended. We are very grateful for Bishop Tom’s support of our ministry in this very practical way.

At the bishop’s suggestion, the Leadership Team considered installing a ‘cathedra’ or bishop’s chair in the Cathedral. A cathedra speaks to us of the teaching role of a bishop, of his authority,  and also of our connectedness to the wider church.

On Sunday 19th September a cathedra was placed in the Cathedral and dedicated as part of the Sunday noon service which was led by Revd Dr Gareth Edwards (Gareth Janus). If you are on Epiphany Island do stop by and take a look at the new chair which is situated forward of the altar on the left as you look towards the front of the Cathedral.


Author: Helene Milena

Teacher, retired counsellor, wife, mother and grandmother.

4 thoughts on “A Cathedra in the Cathedral

  1. PS: this blog posting got mentioned on the Episcopal Cafe as well as the earlier one on the proposed constitution for the group. Good to see the rich fabric of Anglican/Episcopal life in Second Life getting real world press!

  2. Congratulations to the Anglicans of Second Life for adding this to the church! Although RL commitments prevented me from attending the service on Sept 12 to hear Bishop Tom preach, I have heard that it was a wonderful event!

    Since a cathedral is the central church of a diocese, and the cathedra is, amoungst other things, a symbol of the authority of the bishop of the diocese, please remind us what diocese the “Cathedral” on Epiphany Island is the cathedral of? Also, which Anglican province is the diocese a part of, and who is the bishop of that diocese selected according to the canons of that province?


    • Thank you for your congratulations, Caoilin. I think everyone who attended the service with Bishop Tom found it a wonderful occasion. I’m sorry you couldn’t be there.

      As you already know the cathedral on Epiphany Island is not currently part of a diocese or province and we are not working according to the canons of any particular province. The Anglican Cathedral in Second Life is probably unique at the moment. As you know, we are currently overseen by Bishop Tom Brown of Wellington NZ and Bishop Christopher Hill of Guildford, England. Although the arrangement is not a formal one, we consider that we work under the authority of the two bishops. A church or cathedral ministering under the authority of a bishop is nothing new, but one under two bishops from different provinces is not the norm. Once we have our constitution in place, if it is as the published ideas suggest (and which I know you have followed carefully), we will be under the authority of one bishop who could come from any province in the Anglican Communion. Already you can see that we are pushing the usual boundaries.

      On the other hand we want to be a ‘distinctively Anglican church’ as our mission statement says, and to do that we need to work in an Anglican way. So there is a tension between working as other Anglican churches or cathedrals might do in RL and finding that our very existence in the context of SL challenges the existing structures. Some parts of what currently work in RL will work for us and some will be stretched to breaking point and challenge us to find a new way forward.

      You may recall that Mark Brown, our former priest-in-charge, suggested that there should be a diocese of the internet. I have no idea how that would work and I would hesitate to suggest that our cathedral in SL would be the cathedral of such an arrangement. If it comes about, I imagine it will be a long way in the future, by which time pioneers will be facing new challenges.

      As far as the cathedra is concerned, Bishop Tom suggested it as a sign of connection. It may be that he and Bishop Christopher will have more to say about the points you raise. I will pass your comment on in case the bishops wish to add to what I have already said.


      • I have received this response from Bishop Tom:

        Epiphany Cathedral and her people are a ‘Fresh expression’ of being church: not a diocese nor a province but a faith community and as such an integral part of the Anglican Communion.

        You have put it very well, that we affirm our relationship with the Anglican Church and yet are different from what the ABC calls the ‘inherited tradition’ – we are pioneers in a pioneer ministry.

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