Cathedrals at Night – What will you discover?

10th May 2022

A very special night is in store. Join us for Cathedrals at Night.

One night, one unique experience. Cathedrals at Night , 14th May 2022. What will you discover?

A lantern procession, an immersive art installation, inspiring stars, torchlight tours to discover hidden treasures, a Fantastic Beast hunts, meditative walks, poetry, photography, music, prayer stations, and lots and lots and lots of candles.

This Saturday (May 14) sees ten English cathedrals and St Davids Cathedral from the Church in Wales open their doors after hours to welcome in visitors for free in the first co-ordinated nationwide Cathedrals At Night campaign.

It has been inspired by Les Nuits des Cathedrales when participating European cathedrals open their doors after hours on the second Saturday in May to offer a cultural and spiritual experience for free.

All the Cathedrals At Night dates can be found on our website here.

Bristol Cathedral is inviting visitors to use the changing light to find that perfect Instagram shot and Coventry Cathedral has an informal drink and draw event inspired by its current Jacob Epstein exhibition.

Bristol Cathedrals at Night

In Derby, visitors will be able to experience Peace Doves, a large-scale art installation by artist Peter Walker, featuring 8,000 paper doves suspended on ribbons above the nave, accompanied by a soundscape from composer David Harper.

Ely has a Fantastic Beast scavenger hunt by torchlight for children and families plus guided tours of the grounds and tower, Exeter has family activities, unseen treasures on show and demonstrations by its own stonemasons.

Gloucester is inviting visitors to discover astrology in the library, see the city at night from the top of the tower, and explore where Harry Potter was filmed in a new light. Hereford too has a photo contest and is starting its evening with Choral Evensong sung by the three choirs of Hereford, Gloucester, and Worcester before moving into a family friendly arts and crafts programme.

Gloucester Cathedral at Night 2022

Cathedral Isle of Man has reflective poetry, dynamic music and light with its own choristers, meditative walks, a host of family and children activities, and ends with a short service at 10pm. Portsmouth starts with Taize and then takes visitors on a guided meditative journey from dawn to dusk through different parts of the Cathedral.

And York Minster invites visitors to join them for Evensong at 5.30pm before they open after hours for free from 6.30pm to 9pm with organ music inspired by moonlight, a chance to explore the Minster’s crypts, its Nave and the East End, and visitors too can light a candle to be included in a special installation in the quire.

St Davids in Wales has organised a lantern procession, exciting music and light by night, family friendly activities and will conclude with a candlelit service with music from choral scholars at 9.30pm.

This Friday, 13 May, Lichfield and Wells Cathedrals will open their doors after hours for a Cathedrals at Night event. Lichfield is inviting people to join in a meditative walking route round the cathedral before going inside for candlelit space and music, and Wells has guided tours on offer throughout the evening.

Wells Cathedral at Night 13 May 2022

There will be space available in all the cathedrals for quiet prayer, reflection or simply just to be in these sacred spaces. Some will offer short services, and many will have chaplains available if people want to talk.

The aim is that people who would not normally come into a cathedral will visit and find welcome and an opportunity to explore and understand what a cathedral is and does, and that those more familiar with cathedrals will experience them in a new way.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, the Dean of Lichfield and chair of the AEC, which is co-ordinating the event, said:

“This simple campaign is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate our cathedrals and their rich spiritual heritage in new and exciting ways.

“Cathedrals At Night represents a new, coordinated approach to cathedral outreach and visitor engagement which we hope will shine a light on cathedrals nationally and help our visitors make new memories.

“It’s an opportunity for our cathedrals, especially after the last two years, to individually and together, broaden their mission and heritage engagement and build lasting relationships,’ he added.

This year, eleven cathedrals – Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Ely, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford, Cathedral Isle of Man, Portsmouth, York Minster, and St Davids from the Church in Wales will join their 18 European counterparts and open after hours on May 14 while Lichfield and Wells Cathedrals will host a Cathedrals At Night event on Friday 13 May.

Salisbury Cathedral will join in by releasing an online event to showcase their Festival of Flowers while

Bradford, Chelmsford, Durham, Liverpool, Peterborough, St Edmundsbury, and Worcester Cathedrals will offer Cathedrals at Night events on other dates throughout the year.

It is hoped it will become a regular event for English cathedrals and its partners beyond 2022.

All the Cathedrals At Night dates can be found on our website here.