February in our Cathedrals: What will you Discover?

07th February 2024

God’s love for each and all of us is at the heart of a new exhibition in Coventry Cathedral, Peterborough Cathedral is hosting its third open art exhibition, there’s Luke Jerram’s art installations Museum of the Moon in Winchester, Gaia in Lincoln Cathedral, and Mars has just landed in Exeter Cathedral.

February in our Cathedrals – What will you Discover?

Ely Cathedral has an exhibition of wedding dresses and will host Crown and Coronation, created for Historic Royal Palaces by Luxmuralis, Teach Rex is coming to St Edmundsbury Cathedral for half term and Newcastle Cathedral is inviting visitors to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the cathedral after dark this February with Twilight Tranquility.

These are just some of the events on offer in our cathedrals alongside our daily rhythm of prayer and worship.

Fine artist and theologian Elizabeth Gray King is showing thirteen canvases in the Chapel of the Servant and the Nave in Coventry Cathedral that explore the equality and inclusivity of God’s love during LGBT+ History Month this month.

Find out more here.

February in our Cathedrals

Luke Jerram’s Gaia arrived in Lincoln Cathedral on Monday and is suspended under the central tower until Sunday 25 February.

Seven metres in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, offering visitors the chance to see our planet in three dimensions, and creates a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth’s surface.

There’s Compline under Gaia on Thursday evenings and lots of  events and activities from musical recitals to children’s crafts, and special services and the Lincs Planetarium will be in the Chapter House.

Similarly there is a full programme of events and activities planned beneath the Museum of the Moon artwork in Winchester Cathedral which runs from 5 Feb to 18 Feb including music, mind and body classes, silent discos and a romantic date night for Valentine’s Day.

Peterborough Cathedral’s third open art exhibition, Made in Peterborough opens this week until 29th February. The diverse exhibition of more than 200 individual artworks ranging from paintings to mosaics and sculptures, will celebrate all things Peterborough, with every piece having a direct connection to the city.

The Dean of Peterborough, the Very Revd Christopher Dalliston said:

‘We are proud to be hosting our third open art exhibition here at the Cathedral and deeply honoured to be using this magnificent space as a platform to display some of the best artworks in the area. Peterborough is home to a vibrant creative community, with many talented artists, writers & craftspeople of all ages and from all backgrounds, producing inspiring pieces in every medium. This year’s Made in Peterborough exhibition celebrates all of this incredible talent. We hope you will be inspired, not only by the wonderful artworks on display, but by the many evocative stories behind the creations.’

For this week only, Ely is hosting Crown and Coronation, an immersive sound and light show created by Luxmuralis in partnership with historic royal Palaces to celebrate the spectacle and significance of the Crown Jewels and Coronation Ceremony. From Valentine’s Day Ely will host A Celebration of Bridal Gowns. A fascinating new exhibition highlighting the history, artistry and allure of wedding dresses over the years, including original dresses worn by Hollywood actresses in blockbuster movies and replicas of gowns worn by royal brides. Read more

Twilight Tranquility on 22 February invites visitors to stroll through the Newcastle Cathedral by candlelight accompanied by music recorded by the Cathedral Choir.

February in our Cathedrals

There are guided tours, chance to contemplate ‘Look into the Light’ art installation in the crypt, and mindful crafts for the whole family. Café 16 will be showing a selection of short films, and open for food and drink. It is a pay as you feel event. More here.

Truro Cathedral has reinstated its popular Roof Tours this month offering visitors chance to see the cathedral from new heights. Other events include a classical music concert, family theatre for half-term, and a clothing market.

Luke Jerram’s latest art installation, Mars: War and Peace is a seven-metre replica of the Red Planet, created using high-resolution NASA imagery and is now on display in Exeter Cathedral.

There’s a newly created sound composition by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones that features the sounds of seas, deserts and clips from NASA mission to Mars.

The planet was named Mars after the Roman god of war because of its blood-like colour, and as Jerram explains, his sculpture is intended to highlight injustice and the effects of war:

“Presented with a new soundtrack in the context of a church or cathedral, a space to encourage peaceful contemplation, Mars: War & Peace provides an opportunity for people to consider the history of human conflict around the world.

“I hope that visitors will feel transported to the inhospitable, desert wasteland of Mars, whilst also reflecting on the realities of war for the ordinary communities of people on our own planet.”

The Dean of Exeter, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener said he hoped the arrival of the new art installation would encourage both new and regular visitors to contemplate the universe:

“I’m really looking forward to the arrival of Mars: War Peace. I have enjoyed Luke Jerram’s previous works here but there’s something about Mars that is even more remote and enigmatic. It will be great to have a chance to engage face-to-face with the Red Planet, and to ponder the mystery and miracles of the universe, and the God who created it.”

Luke Jerram’s Mars: War and Peace will be at Exeter Cathedral from Thursday 1 to Wednesday 28 February.

Advance booking is recommended.

And this half term two special guests will be delighting children at St Edmundsbury Cathedral: a pair of dinosaurs!

On Wednesday 21 February, the animatronics will be teaching and entertaining during two sessions, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon.

The dinosaurs are from Teach Rex, who provide creative workshops that ignite young minds and imaginations.

As well as Teach Rex, there will be additional free-to-attend prehistoric-themed activities for families.

Kim Judge, Learning Hub Programme Manager at the Cathedral, said,

“We’re thrilled to welcome back Teach Rex to the Cathedral this half-term. They put on a great show that’s full of excitement with learning points for both children and parents. We know that dinosaurs are always popular with young children, and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to engage with life-size versions!”

More here.

An immersive exhibition of Notre Dame has opened in Westminster Abbey telling a 850-year story from 12th century origins to current renovations following the fire of 2019.

The exhibition, created by digital heritage  specialists, has already been on display worldwide and can now be explored using a touch screen tablet in the 13th century Chapter House which re-created historic moments such as the wedding of King Henri IV, the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte and the 19th century construction of Notre-Dame’s iconic spire destroyed in the fire.

Westminster Abbey to be UK host for world tour of Notre Dame de Paris exhibition

Renovations are nearly complete and Notre Dame will be open to the public again in December.

You can find details of events, services and worship on each individual cathedral websites. Please check ahead to avoid disappointment. You may need to book tickets for some events.