Salisbury 2020: Cathedral marks 800 years to the day since first stone laid

Salisbury 2020: Cathedral marks 800 years to the day since first stone laid

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 6:01am 28th April 2020.

4 minute read

On the 28th April 1220, the very first foundations were put down for the world famous building, and Covid-19 won't stop the celebrations.

Plans to mark the 800th anniversary of Salisbury Cathedral relocating from Old Sarum to its current site were due to take place across this year.

Sarum Lights at Salisbury Cathedral
The Sarum Lights installation outside Salisbury Cathedral took place earlier in the year

The pandemic has meant a number of events will need to be altered, but the Cathedral's put together ways of celebrating the very special birthday today (Tuesday 28th April 2020).

A virtual Thanksgiving Service is being held from 11.00am, that's open for anyone to take part in online.

That will begin with a minute's silence to pay tribute to those who are working on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak and have lost their lives.

HUGE ART EXHIBITION SET UP

Today (Tuesday 28th April) also marks the official launch of an indoor and outdoor exhibition around the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral.

You might have noticed the large pieces that have been installed on the green outside the West Front of the building in recent weeks.

Salisbury Cathedral Celebrating 800 years of Spirit and Endeavour Exhibition April 2020
Some of the artworks outside Salisbury Catherdral at the moment include (clockwise from top) Large Reclining Figure by Henry Moore (photo from BNPS Zachary Bulpin); Sail by Tony Cragg (photo from Ash Mills); and Formation - The Dappled Light of the Sun by Conrad Shawcross (photo by Ash Mills)

These works are all part of this exhibition 'Celebrating 800 years of Spirit and Endeavour'.

It's the largest contemporary art exhibition that's been held at Salisbury Cathedral for around two decades, and has taken three years to plan.

Salisbury Cathedral Celebrating 800 years of Spirit and Endeavour Exhibition April 2020 Stairway by Danny Lane
Stairway by Danny Lane in the shadow of Salisbury Cathedral's spire (photo by Ash Mills)

Because of the Covid-19 situation, the exhibition's now being taken online, so we can see the pieces both inside and outside the Cathedral.

There are two parts to the 'virtual tour':

Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral's Visual Arts Adviser and curator said:

"It does strike me as profound that commemorating the placing of a stone 800 years ago, something so physical and monumental at the time, is now taking place on a virtual, online platform - something the original Cathedral builders could not have imagined. The exhibition was conceived as a celebration of the human spirit and human endeavour, manifested through the faith and skill that drove the Cathedral builders and their community on. That shared humanity and capacity to create and endure holds today and, whether online and offline, I hope this exhibition encourages viewers to look forward with hope."

Salisbury Cathedral Celebrating 800 years of Spirit and Endeavour Exhibition April 2020
(Clockwise from top) Death of a Working Hero by Grayson Perry (photo by Jacquiline Creswell); Daedalus by Eduardo Paolozzi (photo by BNPS Zachary Culpin); and Crucifixion 8 by Craigie Aitchison (photo by Ash Mills)

Dr Robert Titley, Salisbury Cathedral's Canon Treasurer and Chair of the Cathedral's Arts Advisory Committee said:

"Christianity is a religion of redemption and salvation. We planned this exhibition to celebrate a landmark birthday for our Cathedral and city but the coronavirus overtook us. Now - thanks to this virtual realisation - the exhibition lives anew, to bring hope and delight in a time of trouble, passing through the closed doors of isolation and lockdown. It's a sign of what is possible when the Spirit of God fuels human endeavour."

Salisbury Cathedral Celebrating 800 years of Spirit and Endeavour Exhibition April 2020 When Soak Becomes A Spill by Subodh Gupta
When Soak Becomes A Spill by Subodh Gupta (photo by Ash Mills)
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Spire FM

© Copyright 2020 Spire FM, A UKRD group company