Ever since I have been at the Cathedral, so since 1999, we have been surrounded by building works – the Jubilee Line, the Shard and the News Building, Thameslink 2000 and then the complete reimagining and reconstruction of London Bridge Station
When I arrived it looked as though new railway viaducts would destroy parts of the Borough Market and much of the older section of Park Street. But the local community was motivated not to let this happen and led by some amazing local residents helped to create much better solutions to work which needed to be done. So it was wonderful to be invited along with Bishop Christopher Chessun, the Bishop of Southwark, to the formal opening of London Bridge Station.
The London Bridge Station first opened in 1836 making it one of the oldest in the world. But a church had been on this site by that stage for 1230 years. But I suppose for many people we quickly became ‘the Cathedral beside the railway line’ and listeners to Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 know when it is being broadcast from Southwark because of the comforting and reassuring noise of commuter trains trundling past during the psalms!
The new station is a vast area in which travellers can depart and arrive, in which people can meet and shop, a real hub in this part of the city. All involved in the work need to be congratulated and they were, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Cambridge when he came to officially open the station. It was a joy to meet Prince William afterwards and to give to him a gift for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, a copy of the book about our Cathedral cat, Doorkins. The Prince seemed delighted especially when I told him that it featured Her Majesty The Queen meeting Doorkins. We all hope the children love the story as much as we do.
The Very Revd Andrew Nunn
Dean of Southwark