Cathedrals are Good to Go and So Are You

18th August 2020

Peterborough Cathedral is making history with a unique digital mapping project, Lichfield Cathedral has unveiled its new arts programme centred on Hope, tickets for Lincoln Cathedral’s much anticipated Flower Festival have just gone on sale, there are new visitor tours at St Albans and St Edmundsbury Cathedrals, Bradford has its own 360 degree virtual tour, Truro has launched a digital candle lighting service, Manchester Cathedral is flying the flag to celebrate the rainbow people of God, and Gloucester Cathedral has hit the halfway mark on its fundraising campaign, Beacon of Hope.

English Cathedrals are Good To Go

Every cathedral which is able to re-open to the public has achieved the Visit Britain’s industry standard and consumer charter mark We’re Good to Go which means they have taken all the necessary steps to help ensure people’s safety in line with latest Government and Public Health guidance.

It is a signal to anyone wishing to visit that they can be confident that every opportunity is taken to ensure their wellbeing.

Please check ahead as opening times may have changed, you may have to book a ticketed slot, and please be advised face-coverings are now mandatory in places of worship unless you are exempt.

This week stonemason, Kate Jones abseiled down the iconic west front of Peterborough Cathedral taking high resolution laser scans on her descent to add to one of the most in-depth digital captures of a historic building ever carried out.

While a drone criss-crossed the west front to capture additional data. Together the scanning will provide safer and more cost-effective access to information for maintenance and repair purposes and a rich educational resource for schools.

The scans can also generate 3D printing and some of the statues scanned on the west front, with other carved details on the building, may become part of a unique Peterborough Cathedral chess set.

The hi-tech scanning is being carried out by a team from Architectural & Heritage Scanning Ltd and Graham Sykes, Technical Director explained:

“We see this project as a unique case study to assess what can be achieved.
“We think Peterborough Cathedral may well be the most digitally recorded historic building ever at this point, with 16 billion data points and over 30,000 images.
“Similar work has been carried out at Notre Dame Cathedral and at Westminster Abbey and while this is not quite so in-depth, we have used a wider range of scanners and methods to capture different levels of detail.”

Dave Cramp, Commercial Director for Peterborough Cathedral said:

“We are already at the early stages of working on ideas for how we can use these very life-like images and fly-through videos in materials for schools. This will enable our education team to visit classrooms and inspire students with the life and history of this ancient building.
“The potential for virtual tours, increased accessibility, and bespoke objects for sale in our shop is also very exciting.”

The project is expected to be concluded at the end of the summer.

In Exeter, archaeologists have gone underground in a bid to reveal crucial information about the layout of the site’s original medieval cloister.

This information will be used to inform the design of a proposed new Cloister Gallery at the Cathedral. However, on a site of major historical importance that has undergone multiple transformations throughout its 900-year history, the team hope to unearth other significant discoveries too and you can follow their progress with archaeologist Simon Hughes’ blog.

Exeter Cathedral - Good to Go

Tickets have just gone on sale for Lincoln Cathedral’s Flower Festival – Vision 2021. It was due to take place this summer as part of the Cathedral’s celebration events to mark the 800th anniversary of St Hugh, the Bishop of Lincoln from 1200 to 1220 who was responsible for the rebuilding of Lincoln Cathedral following an earthquake in 1185.

It will now take place from Thursday 29 July to Monday 2 August 2021 when over 130 floral creations will tell the story of St Hugh and other visionaries who have made an impact on the county and beyond, from the Pilgrim Fathers to Harry Potter.

Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling 01522 561612.

Lichfield Cathedral has just unveiled a new arts and events programme for 2020/21 inspired by hope. It will see The Hope Garden created around a newly commissioned sculpture by the cathedral’s Artist in Residence, Peter Walker, which will immortalise the founding Bishop of Lichfield, St Chad to whom the cathedral is dedicated.

Peter has just started work to create this three-metre permanent outdoor bronze statue which is due to be installed in March 2021. In recognition of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cathedral has now announced plans to incorporate it with The Hope Garden. Over 50,000 spring flowers will be planted around the Chad statue as a gift of remembrance and hope to the city. It is hoped the flowers will bloom every year in March to mark St Chad’s Day (March 2), to commemorate the month we went into lockdown, and in readiness for Easter.

Cathedrals Good to Go - Lichfield

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber said:

“The Covid-19 crisis has affected us all. We wanted to mark the legacy of 2020 and what we’ve experienced with something beautiful and uplifting. The flowers will bloom each year in memory of what has been lost, but also as a reminder that hope springs from the ground even after the harshest of winters.”

More on Lichfield’s Hope campaign here.

Gloucester Cathedral’s £1m appeal has been given a boost with early gifts pushing the ‘Beacon of Hope’ fundraising past the £500,000 mark.

Launched in June with a £250,000 leadership grant from the Julia and Hans Rausing Charitable Trust, the Beacon of Hope appeal was set up to ensure the Cathedral can continue to play a crucial role in the local community’s recovery from the pandemic.

It aims to raise £1 million by Christmas to enable a programme of cultural and social activities to help inspire local communities, promote wellbeing, support those who are most vulnerable and stimulate the local economy – this October the Cathedral will host Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation as part of the campaign.

More here  >

Manchester Cathedral is marking Pride season by flying the rainbow Pride flag to coincide with what would have been the Manchester Pride Festival 2020.

The Dean of Manchester, The Very Revd Rogers Govender MBE, said:

“Social distancing and potential loneliness can have a severe impact on marginalised groups.
“Sadly, this summer, our Pride celebrations across Greater Manchester are not what we had hoped for and we can’t celebrate our diversity and challenge homophobia quite as publicly.
“However, we continue to stand with all those who experience any kind of discrimination because of who they are or who they love.
“By hoisting the Pride flag once again, we celebrate the rainbow people of God across this great city region and we commit ourselves again to continuing to campaign for the full inclusion of LGBTIQ+ in society and in the Church.”

New tours – physical and virtual have been launched – with St Edmundsbury launching a new family friendly Discovery Detective trail.

Aimed at families with children aged 6-10, the trail can be downloaded before visiting (click here). It explores parts of the Cathedral which are open and then around the outside of the building looking for clues. Once completed, there is a badge to collect from the Cathedral Shop.

If you can’t visit Bradford Cathedral at the moment then you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. It has launched a series of 360-degree videos. They were taken in Summer 2019 in collaboration with Explore Churches and allow the virtual visitor the chance to see different spaces and chapels in the cathedral and find out more.

Truro Cathedral is now able to offer its digital visitors the chance to ‘light’ a virtual candle that will be present, flickering and visible on the webpage for a 48-hour period. They can also write their name and leave a message or prayer alongside their candle too though there is the option to be anonymous.

The Dean of Truro, the Very Revd Roger Bush, said:

“As a team, we understand that for various reasons, there are times when individuals who would really like to visit the cathedral, can’t. This is something that has been heightened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We have developed the virtual candle on the website to try to bridge that gap and offer the chance to engage with this important spiritual aspect remotely.”

Truro Cathedral - Good to Go

More on the Truro Cathedral website here.

A new outside tour within the grounds of St Albans Cathedral launched this week. The Great Survivor Tour is an exterior tour of the historic Cathedral and its grounds that will allow visitors to discover stories of monks, martyrs, parishioners, Victorian restorers, royals and archbishops.

Stephen Da Silva, chairman of the guides, said:

“Visitors will walk the outline of the Cathedral in the company of one of our experienced guides. They will stand on the hillside where Alban, Britain’s first Saint, was martyred and discover how Alban’s church has survived revolt, collapse and decay.”

The first tour starts this Wednesday (August 19) and will run weekly at 2.30pm every Wednesday and Saturday throughout August and September, no matter the weather.

Tours are limited to 12 people per tour and must be booked online in advance. Which you can do on the St Albans Cathedral website here.

What else is taking place at a cathedral near you? Find out in our news section here. We’re Good to Go!