Canterbury Cathedral Open Evening 5Th October 2011

Jan Leeming

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CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - Open Evening 5th October 2011

Date: 16th October 2011


Where does time go? I hadn’t realised that it was almost two weeks ago when we had this most marvellous Open Evening at the Cathedral staged by the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral.

Apparently an Open Evening is held every year but I’d never heard of it. It really is a splendid event. The Evening is Free and Open to all starting with Evensong at 5.30 and then from 6.15 - 8.40 there are Displays and Activities followed by a short Concert by the Choristers and then Compline if you wish to attend.

For Evensong, the Quire was totally full and we were spilling over onto the steps leading up to St. Augustine’s Chair. My goodness those stone steps were cold on the posterior.
I was told that approximately 2,000 folk visited the Cathedral during the course of the evening.

There are many parts of the Cathedral open to view which are not usually accessible to the public - among the many events on offer - a trip up the Bell Tower, a talk on the Martyrdom of St. Thomas, a display of Stained Glass Cleaning, Gilding and Masonry Work on show in the Crypt and the Huguenot Chapel was open to the public. The Archives were open and archivists were there to answer general questions about ancestry and the Cathedral treasures.

The highlight of the evening was an Exhibition of Iconic Vestments displayed down the centre of the Nave with, in pride of place, the Archbishop’s Cope worn for the Royal Wedding in April this year.

The Copes were breathtaking examples of superb needlecraft and many had been worn on historic occasions - the 1953 Japanese Silk Coronation Cope and Mitre, the Cope worn for the Wedding of Princess Elizabeth in 1947, that worn by the Archbishop Runcie on the historic occasion of his meeting with Pope Paul 11 as well as many other glorious examples including the replica set of Becket’s Vestments (the originals are at Sens in Normandy which is where he resided during his exile)

I’ll put other photos in the Gallery but felt I really had to show you the ‘Wedding Cope’.

Bye for now, Jan

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - Open Evening 5th October 2011

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