Open Evening 2013

January 22, 2013

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See Winchester Cathedral in a New Light

Cathedral Open Evening – Tuesday 29 January, 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Once again Winchester Cathedral opens its doors to the public at the Open Evening on Tuesday 29 January, welcoming everyone to find out what goes on behind-the-scenes and, with the medieval nave clear of chairs, offering a rare opportunity to see the wonderful architecture of the Cathedral as its builders intended it, but in the very special atmosphere of evening light. The event starts with Evensong sung by the Cathedral Choir at 5.30pm and activities and displays run from 6.30 – 8.30pm. Entry is completely free so why not take the opportunity to discover more about our city’s most famous landmark!

Although what you normally see of the Cathedral is the building and the worship which takes place within its walls, the work of a millennium is continued day by day to maintain and conserve the building and its traditions. Much of it normally hidden from view, so this is the ideal chance to find out what makes it a living community.

Come and see how its ancient manuscripts are restored, try your hand at calligraphy, and see the 12th century Winchester Bible, with its wonderful hand painted illuminations; truly a treasure within a treasure.

You may be someone who hears the Cathedral bells every week, but have you ever seen them and the upper areas of the Cathedral – if not, take a bellringing chamber tour and even ring a miniature version of them yourself? Another popular activity is the mini-belfry which gives budding campanologists the chance to try out their arms at bell ringing.

Jane Austen is one of the Cathedral’s most famous residents, and there is a permanent exhibition near where she is buried which tells of her life and, in the 200th anniversary of the publication of perhaps her most famous novel, Pride & Prejudice, we will be holding a series of events, on which more soon.

Meet the stonemasonry team who have recently completed the first newly-built addition to the Cathedral since the 15th century, or those who look after the vestments and adorn the Cathedral for services through the year. There are also activities for Children, calligraphy, displays from the Friends of the Cathedral, Music department, the Head Gardener, and other groups within the organization who make this great church tick.

And new for this year, the Cathedral’s Jane Austen guides will be in costume to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice (look out for a programme of events in the place where she is buried throughout the year).

There is bound to be something for everyone and refreshments are available too so do come along to find out more!

There is a full listing of activities available here.

For those who cannot go along on the night, the chairs will remain out of the Nave until 8 February so why not come along and see the Great Nave anytime; it’s just as spectacular in the daytime.