Canon in Residence – Canon Mark Taylor
While situated at the Cathedral on Thursday the 15th August, Canon Mark Taylor explained that the history of Canons in Cathedrals goes back to the medieval times where the Canons would actually live in the Cathedral itself as a community.
Supported by parishes around the Cathedral, Canons existed to help support the community's religious and spiritual needs, as well as for the building itself. As more and more parishes grew, this tradition faded and the role of a canon was interpreted more liberally.
Today, although Canons don't live in the Cathedral (they'd be very cold!), they are still essential components of Cathedral life.
This is demonstrated through the new Canon in Residence development, which aims to utilise our Canons more effectively as they endeavour to assist Dean Stephen Forde and the Cathedral in the day-to-day responsibilities of Cathedral life.
Canon Mark Taylor was appointed Canon of Belfast Cathedral in 2016 by the Bishop of Connor Diocese. His main memories of being in Belfast Cathedral is for larger services, which always demonstrate "our excellent choir and phenomenal acoustics which lend themselves to showing that God is here".
Alongside his duties as a Canon and Rector for Whitehead and Islandmagee, Canon Taylor is also a rugby referee for IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union), working in the Ulster Branch and spending his spare time "out of the parish and keeping fit!"
Some of his other hobbies include riding motorbikes (of which he owns a few!), scouting and cooking - Canon Taylor has generously assisted at Summer Madness for the past 4 years, cooking dinner for hundreds of attendees.
Canon Taylor describes the Cathedral as a "pleasant, peaceful and quiet space away from the traffic of the city". During his day in residence on the 15th August, Canon Taylor explained, "it's lovely to see people praying, we provide a service for people to be closer to God".
Canon Taylor's favourite part of the Cathedral is the Choir, where the fantastic acoustics complement our own choir's abilities, "the music quality is astounding".
While Canon Taylor's 8 year old rescue dog, Benedictus' favourite part of the Cathedral happens to be wherever his loving owner is.
Canon Taylor and Benedictus (or Ben) enjoying the acoustics of the Cathedral!
Make sure to stop by and say hello to our Cathedral Canons each Thursday. In the Cathedral from 10am until Evening Prayer, their specified “surgery hour” dedicated to any visitors who need support, will be between 2-3pm.