Published: 10:14, 14 July 2021
| Updated: 10:16, 14 July 2021
Founded in 604 AD, the present Rochester Cathedral building has been standing since 1080, so it has made it through a pandemic or two in its time.
Its quiet support has seen it light up, say prayers to those affected by the pandemic, and tie ribbons in remembrance over the last year and its crypt has even acted as a testing site.
The Cathedral has reopened its doors and is welcoming visitors back inside this summer with the invitation to rediscover what’s inside.
A free exhibition Faith, Hope & Love will focus on the Cathedral’s diverse history, architecture, community and collections.
Running from Monday, July 26, until Tuesday, August 31, it will give visitors a chance to rediscover the Cathedral through exhibits and activities.
The Canon Chancellor, Dr Gordon Giles, said: “It has been a difficult, challenging and painful time for everybody these last eighteen months and so as we open up we want to share a loving welcome, express faith in the future and offer hope as we emerge from the crises that have beset us recently.
“For many the exhilarating experience of ‘the Moon’ may be the last time they came to the Cathedral, so we want to invite people back to reflect, explore and enjoy the heritage of the last fourteen hundred years, so wonderfully exhibited in our sacred space.”
Visitors can explore the length and breadth of the Cathedral, opened up with displays highlighting some of the skills and activities which take place there, alongside displays which transport through time to see the interior as it would have looked in the Medieval period.
There will be activities for families and young children, regular tours, and a warm welcome to rediscover the familiar and the new. And family-friendly monk-themed tours will run weekly.
Craft activities and brass rubbing will be scheduled throughout the holidays as well - further details will be released through the website.
Next year, it will also stage Gaia, a 7m replica of the Earth using NASA imagery.
The Cathedral is open, with no need to pre-book, from 10 to 4pm Monday to Saturday and 1pm to 3pm on Sundays. Admission is free. Details at rochestercathedral.org