Some Cathedrals, such as Birmingham and Bristol, sit squarely and comfortably in their cities as part of a rich tapestry of the culture of the place, other such as Truro brashly define their place.
If you were to come up the River Truro, or down the A390 in either direction you can be in no doubt where the Cathedral is, slap bang in the town centre, with three spires completely dominating the skyline, it’s an arresting sight. It is the most south-westerly cathedral in the British Isles, it’s free to get in and is a welcome stop on the places to visit in the area. With a public car park at one end and the town centre at the other it’s also really accessible.
I think my first visit was about eight years ago at Easter, it was chucking it down and the lure of kids Easter activities made it a very welcome stop, but my latest visit was in December, just at the start of the Christmas season, highly appropriate as Truro was where the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was invented, they also have a Carol Service for Pets which has been going for 60 years. Truro has always taken its music very seriously; the Father Willis Organ is considered one of the finest anywhere and the choir is very well regarded.
I arrived at that funny time of day, between Morning Prayer finishing and the town awakening, giving me the place to myself, though both a steward and a cleric gave broad smiles and offers of help. The cathedral restaurant situated in the 1967 Chapter House, served a cracking breakfast though to me the jury is out about this extension situated on stilts.
Truro Cathedral is a place of worship going back hundreds of years and in some ways is a vast extension to the Parish Church of St Mary, parts of which still exist, it is one of the newer English cathedrals but being built in the Gothic Revival Style it gives the impression of being rather older.
It’s a fabulous building, the altar is a real treat and the craftsmanship which went into the reredos is superb.
The Cathedral does a really good job of being relevant and attractive to visitors and worshippers alike. There is a genuine welcome and amongst the bustle of a busy city a real opportunity for contemplation and reflection.
In his last blog Marcus visited Blackburn Cathedral. Read his experience here.
Marcus Green 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.