Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage.
Museum of the Moon, Knife Angel, Gaia, #SeeingitDifferently on a helter-skelter, Northern Lights in York Minster, a lunar landscape in Lichfield, adventure golf in Rochester, a new dean welcomed at Westminster Abbey, a space voyage in St Albans, angels in Sheffield and new gargoyles for Gloucester Cathedral; 2019 was a landmark year for English Cathedrals with a record number of people visiting.
But 2020 looks like it’s going to be bigger and better.
And this is why.
2020 brings together a remarkable number of individual cathedral anniversaries and initiatives that will help tell Britain’s story – past and present.
Many of our cathedrals are already planning major celebrations –Canterbury, Peterborough, Portsmouth with the anniversary of Thomas Becket, Lincoln Cathedral with 800 years of St Hugh, Salisbury commemorates the 800th anniversary of the founding of its city and its iconic cathedral. St Edmundsbury celebrates the 1,000 year anniversary of the Abbey, and Coventry Cathedral will remember the 80th anniversary of the bombing of the old cathedral during the Blitz.
The National History Museum’s T Rex: The Killer Question comes to Peterborough Cathedral, Durham launches six new northern saints trails, Norwich Cathedral welcomes Dippy the Dinosaur, while the British Museum opens its doors for a major new exhibition on Thomas Becket.
The Church in Wales celebrates 100 years as an independent part of the Anglican Communion, there will be new visitor centres opened at our cathedrals, major new redevelopment projects launched, and thanks to an initiative between the Association of English Cathedrals and the British Pilgrimage Trust – there is a one-day pilgrimage route to every Church of England cathedral.
That’s why we’ve named 2020 Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage. And that’s why today, we are launching a new website to help us better tell these stories.
You’ll find new drop-down menus to help you find events specifically for 2020 Year of Cathedrals’ initiatives with a link back to each individual cathedral website, a list of all the one-day pilgrimages under the Year of Pilgrimage drop-down menu and more on pilgrimage stories there too. There’s new, better signposting and mapping, and a more visual feel to the site with a feature picture gallery allowing us to show the life in and of our cathedrals specifically throughout the 366 days of 2020. #366days
And just for 2020, a new project, Cathedrals At Night – the first fully co-ordinated event in every one of the 42 Church of England cathedrals, the cathedrals in Wales, and the Cathedral on the Isle of Man. For one night only during 2020, every one of these cathedrals will open its doors to welcome in visitors for free to offer them a taste of cathedral life. Expect music, prayer for those who want it, contemplation, fun, art and light shows in some places … and lots and lots and lots of candles.
Watch this space for more details!
We are going to have a busy, busy 2020 so why not join us. We’d love to see you.
Have a great new decade.