The Show Will Go On – Cathedrals Good to Go

12th August 2020

Gloucester will display Gaia this October, Bristol’s moon is next August, Exeter has reopened visitor tours and it’s current archaeological dig, Winchester Christmas market is on and its bells rang for first time on Sunday.

Chichester celebrates the first wedding after lockdown. The show will go on….English Cathedrals are Good To Go.

Gloucester Cathedral has announced Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation will go on display in October, Bristol has revealed new dates for his Museum of the Moon, Winchester Cathedral’s bells rang for the first time, Exeter re-opened its Stones and Bones tours and Chichester celebrated its first wedding since lockdown.

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 possible is taken to ensure their wellbeing….oh and did we say they were cool? In fact they are (probably) the coolest places to be in #UKheatwave – but check ahead as you may have to book a ticketed slot.

In Chichester, Sam and Catherine Harding were married in the Lady Chapel by the Dean of Chichester, the Very Revd Stephen Waine, on Saturday 25th July in front of a small group of close family and friends. They had waited three months to be able to invite just 30 guests from their original 350-strong guest list and decided to livestream the service for those who were not able to attend.

The couple then paraded down Chichester’s East Street so anyone who wanted to, could come and see them at a safe distance.

Gloucester Cathedral has just announced that Gaia – Luke Jerram’s Earth installation – will be suspended in the nave this October. Sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurers, the installation will form a key part of the Cathedral’s Beacon of Hope campaign which aims to support the recovery of the city and county following the Covid-19 pandemic. Gaiaforms part of a programme of collaborative cultural activities which aim to help inspire local communities, promote wellbeing and stimulate economic growth.

It is the second time that Luke Jerram has exhibited at the cathedral following last year’s hugely popular Museum of the Moon which attracted over 70,000 visitors.

Gaia measures 7 metres in diameter and features detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface offering an extraordinary opportunity to see our home planet at scale and will go on show in the cathedral at the same time as Luke Jerram’s poetry installation “Of Earth and Sky” will be projected across the city.

Gaia will be ticketed to limit capacity for physical distancing and details for booking will be announced in September .

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said:
“I’m delighted we can bring Gaia to the county this October. At a time when we are all still dealing with Covid-19 it’s good to have something positive to look forward to – particularly a shared experience. We have spent time developing visiting arrangements to ensure everyone’s safety as well as providing a wonderful experience and will respond to the most up to date guidance and best practice. We look forward to sharing more details about this as Gaia’s arrival date approaches.”

To find out more go to –

Bristol Cathedral has just announced new dates for its exhibition of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon. This installation measuring seven metres in diameter and featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, was due to go on display in the crossing of Bristol Cathedral – in the artist’s home town – this month but has been postponed until next August, 2021.

An exhibition by English artist, Graham Sutherland has opened in the Chapter House of Chester Cathedral. The official Second World War artist worked in glass, fabrics and paint and his landscape work during the war won him the commission to design the central tapestry in the new Coventry Cathedral.

He also more controversially produced the portrait of the then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. The show continues until the end of August.

This Friday Chester Cathedral will host an online lecture by writer and BBC presenter Alice Morrison who in February reached the Mauritanian border after 1,000 miles across the Sahara on foot travelling with six camels and three Amazigh guides as part of a trip to see first-hand the result of desertification to the landscape and the people of the area.

It is part of Chester Cathedral’s Journeys programme for 2020 and has been organised in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society.

Exeter Cathedral has just reopened to tourists with a number of tours on offer that take the more intrepid up onto the roof for the best views of Exeter and beyond, and others delving down into the secrets of the cathedral’s precincts.

All tours all have to be booked online to ensure visitors are safe. You can book them here.

Exeter Cathedral began an archaeological dig at the end of July to uncover early structures that will help them define and refine their plans for a new Cloister Gallery – part of a development project which has initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund that will see a new covered walk between the Cathedral nave, café and chapter house – a plan first started 130 years ago.

The archaeological dig is expected to provide crucial information about the layout of the medieval cloister and the state of its foundations which, if still serviceable, will be reused for the new building. But on an historic site that has undergone many transformations throughout its 900 year history, Cathedral archaeologist, John Allan expects to unearth other significant discoveries too.

Winchester Cathedral has just announced that its famous Christmas Market – voted best Christmas market in the UK and one of the top 15 Christmas Markets in Europe – will go ahead this year – though without its popular ice rink.

And on Sunday in Winchester the bells rang out again after four long months in lockdown.

Winchester Cathedral Bell Ringers
Six ringers (pictured) were permitted to ring the cathedral bells before the first morning service on Sunday in strict adherence to Covid-19 guidance which meant only six bells could be rung to maintain social distance between the bellringers.

It is the first time the cathedral bells have been rung since Sunday March 15, the longest period bells have been silent since World War Two.

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