Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Chichester Cathedral

I had another look at some of the photos that I have of the cathedral and decided that the Chichester Cathedral deserves a post of its own. There is an awful lot of history and story related to the cathedral (details of which I may or may not remember). I'll do my best...

 A view of the cathedral from the Chichester Cross. (Retha)

 The entrance to the cathedral is the starting point of story-telling! The two outer doors and inner door (all made of glass) each has a metal cross on them so that when you into the cathedral through the doors, you see 3 crosses (referring to the crosses on Golgotha).
Difficult to see the three crosses, but the cross can be seen on the right hand door (one beam of the cross outside and one inside - the door opens in the middle of the cross) (Retha)
On either side of the door is a stone carving. Traditionally it is gargoyles that are carved to depict the demons and evil spirits that flee from the holy building. The stone masons in Chichester must have a sense of humour, because the gargoyles at the side on the cathedral depict Chichester Bishops and the ones either side of the entrance door depict Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (quite modestly and decently and not as evil creatures).

Inside the church, directly on the right handside, there is a 1970s stone font. The bishops throughout the ages have been committed to supporting the arts and commissioned a new font in the destinct 70s style. The Victorian font that was there before was replaced with the one below and ended up in the garden!
The font, under the right hand tower. Note the wooden 'table' and remember for later reference. (Retha)

There is a chapel in the cathedral where people of other faiths (or no faith!) can come and spend quiet time. I was quite surprised to find that there is such a tolerance, having grown up in a church where, if you did not belong to the 3 sister churches, you were considered to be part of a sect! Can only say that I much prefer the attitude to live together in harmony...

When we first moved here, the Lady Chapel was closed off and under restoration. That work is now completed and it is possible to enter and view it. This is part of the roof of the chapel.

There is an unusual medieval tomb in the cathedral, which depicts the husband and wife next to each other (nothing usual about that) but his right hand reaches out for the wife and holds her hand (which is very unusual as love and physical contact is not shown in gravestone carvings). There is also a poem called 'An Arundul Tomb' about the tomb. This is considered a very 'romantic grave', if there is ever such a thing!

The two towers on either side of the entrance to the church were apparently derelict for quite a while and was rebuilt only relatively recently (late 1800s early 1900s). The ceilings are very ornately decorated.

One's neck or balance cannot survive the looking directly above you for too long... For this purpose two little tables were made, containing a mirror, so that you can view the ceilings without falling over. Remember the little table next to the font? That was one of them!

Some of the features of the cathedral I have already described in the blog 'Chichester'.

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