Salisbury Cathedral is Good to Go. So Marcus went. And here is what he had to say about his visit to Salisbury.
Slowly, slowly but surely, cathedrals are waking up again and let’s rejoice for that.
Salisbury Cathedral is Good to Go
It has given some the chance to gently open the doors and let a sliver of sunlight in and for others to restart with renewed vigour with what they were planning. Both are equally valid and both are dictated in a large part by local circumstances.
One of the more organised seems to be Salisbury and as it is only 90 minutes from home and the weather was glorious I booked my advance tickets for a timed entry and made my way there, calling in via the car park at Old Sarum to see the “new” cathedral from the old.
Upon arrival we were greeted warmly by enthusiastic volunteers who invited us inside to anti-bac our hands. We showed our tickets to the receptionist who immediately found us on the system and we were in where another volunteer gave us leaflets about the cathedral and another about the “Spirit of Endeavour” exhibition of contemporary sculpture and art which is currently running both inside and out. It’s really very good with some spectacular work.
One of the exciting things about Salisbury is from the doors at one end to the Trinity Chapel at the other you have a clear uninterrupted view, nothing blocks it, with no furniture and a one way system the scale of the cathedral is overwhelming, a moment of reflection does not go amiss at this point.
We walked round and the leaflet is very helpful in explaining what you are seeing.
Upon reaching the North Transept we found Edward Probert, the long serving Canon Chancellor who spent time with my 12-year-old answering her questions about the windows. Really good to see very senior clergy on the “shop floor,” it doesn’t happen everywhere!
Throughout we were greeted by volunteer guides who wanted to share snippets and parts of the cathedral that were special to them but more interestingly they were listening to people telling their stories. I noticed it time and again, they opened up conversations, listened generously (quite a skill) and I was left in no doubt that as we emerge from coronavirus people want to talk about their lives.
I think we are returning to being able to share our stories and experiences.
Churches and cathedrals should be where the small conversations can become the big ones.
Salisbury facilitates that beautifully.
He is a part-time management consultant focused on voluntary sector leadership. He is also the CEO of Action Pre-eclampsia. His photography has been widely published everywhere from the Washington Post to Vogue. In 2019, in advance of the Year Of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage he decided to attempt to visit and photograph every Anglican and Catholic Cathedral in England and Wales.