Saturday, December 12

Canon John Blundell

This portrait, which hangs on the upper floor of Cathedral House, is believed to show Canon John Blundell, who was rector at St Peter's from 1922 to 1935. He succeeded Fr Robert Dobson, who had been made auxiliary bishop after only a few months in charge of the parish. Canon Blundell's thirteen years were not uneventful, for it was within his time that the church was raised to cathedral status, to serve the new Diocese of Lancaster; thus it was that he oversaw the transition from parish church to cathedral and became the first Cathedral Administrator. Canon Blundell died on this day in 1935; the notice book for 15th December that year gives details of his funeral: "Monday [16th]: Requiem Mass and funeral at 11.0am. The side aisles will be reserved for the school children; the first eight benches on both sides of the nave will be reserved for clergy, relatives and friends." Amongst the assistant priests at the time was Fr Oswald Brimley, who would become Canon Blundell's successor; the notice book entry for 9th February states simply, "The Bishop has appointed Fr Brimley as Administrator of the Cathedral". Fr Brimley, just 39 at the time, remained in this post until his retirement forty years later.