BY RACHEL STEINBERG
A senior church official has announced her retirement after spending 11 years serving the community.
Doorkins Magnificat rose to fame as the 13th-century Southwark Cathedral’s resident cat. Since 2008, Doorkins has greeted the general public and famous visitors, including the Queen and Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The celebrity feline broke the retirement news in an emotional October tweet to more than 5,000 followers. Doorkins said deteriorating health and eyesight led her to step down from her scratching post.
She wrote: “It is with great sadness to say that I am now not living at Southwark Cathedral. “I kept bumping into old things—not the Dean. “Please continue to visit the place I love so much and have so many fond memories of. “It has been an absolute pleasure. I will miss the fusses you have given me as well as all the treats you kindly donated!
“It has been so much fun and I feel very blessed.”
She also encouraged visitors to donate cat toys and food to her charity box in the cathedral shop. Contributions will go to feline fostering and adoption charity Catcuddles.
Cathedral Dean Andrew Nunn tweeted his gratitude to his furry colleague, saying: “We shall miss you but I know you will be very comfortable. Thank you for being such a lovely friend to all of us.”
Later, Dean Nunn released an official church statement. He said: “Doorkins has become the feline face of Southwark Cathedral, a symbol for many of our openness, inclusiveness, hospitality and community. She is still part of the family but taking a well-deserved rest.”
Like many retirees, Doorkins has chosen to downsize. She will spend her golden years at the home of a close friend and cathedral staff member.
Following the announcement, Doorkins shared a picture taken of her peacefully resting in her new abode.
The caption read: “It may not be a vast and beautiful gothic cathedral, but it is warm and cozy.
“My carers, who I have known for many years, made me feel very much at home and I am really looking forward to this retirement lark.”
Doorkins, who was homeless, first appeared at the cathedral’s southwest doors in December 2008.
For several days she waited patiently for vergers who would come bearing breakfast.
They also christened their future tenant with her unique moniker.
Doorkins’ name is a play on biologist and forthright atheist Richard Dawkins and Magnificat, the Canticle of Mary, which is a prayer sung each evening.
The cat decided to move in permanently some time between Jesus’ birthday and New Year.
Since then, Doorkins has become an ambassador for the cathedral, attracting international visitors and Londoners – including some famous ones.
Her official biography on the cathedral’s website includes a commendation from Mayor Khan.
He said: “Southwark Cathedral is part of the fabric of London and Doorkins is part and parcel of the cathedral community.
“I have very fond memories of my visits – each one with Doorkins taking pride of place.”