Heritage Open Days celebrate the beauty of Cathedral

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Heritage Open Days celebrate the beauty of Cathedral

A dozen volunteers helped to welcome pilgrims and visitors to St John’s Cathedral for the Heritage Open Days. Tania Gonzalez Duran reports.

Without the enthusiasm and kind disposition of our volunteers, the celebration of our heritage and culture over two September weekends would not have been possible.

Our doors are always open to people across Norwich, the Diocese and beyond. However, after a year of turbulence and unprecedented change, we weren’t expecting anywhere near the success that we experienced. Everyone involved in this year’s Heritage Open Days had to learn new skills, quickly adapt to change and do their best in creating new opportunities for different audiences and age groups.

All our events were suitable for everyone: families, children and adults alike. Pre-booking was possible for the first time, and we also had people dropping in for a more casual visit.

Our new ‘Stained Glass Stories’ and ‘The Secret Garden of St John’s’ tours were received warmly by the public and we had some encouraging comments.

A special invitation was extended to children and adults to join our workshop in the vegetable garden where our visitors creatively learned how to make ‘Your Own Air-Bee-N-Bee Hotel’. It was a lot of fun.

For the first time, we had two virtual tours at the Cathedral that were aimed at recreating the popular in-person experience of the Tower Tour and the Hidden Places Tour. During these virtual experiences, we created an opportunity for our visitors to enjoy the magnificent views of Norwich on the virtual ‘Tower Top Tour’, as well as a unique chance to explore behind the scenes and look at areas of the Cathedral not usually accessible to the public in our ‘Hidden Places Tour – the Virtual Experience’.

Together with a series of short clips called ‘The Bread of Life’ – where a five-year old asks big questions about our faith – the virtual tours will be available on the Cathedral website www.sjbcathedral.org.uk We hope they will inform, entertain and educate.

Our classic in-person ‘Grand Ground Floor Tour’ was also available for those who wanted to find out about the spirituality and history of St John’s through a walking tour of the main features of this stunning place of worship.

Finally, the jewel of the crown was our ‘Hidden Gem’ talk and visual presentation by Deacon Patrick Limacher on the history of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. It was such an honour to have this once-only talk completing our offer of this year’s Heritage Open Days events.

Pictured above and below are families enjoying the Heritage Open Days at St John’s Cathedral.