Flower Festival preparations are at full speed with the final 'build' on Monday, which means the Cathedral will be closed to the public all day.
Clerk of the Works, Gary Price, and his team have hoisted the glorious orange lanterns (pictured above) over the North Transept. With their trailing cascade of multi-coloured physalis, their mood is warmly Autumnal.
By Monday night the 25 Barons present at the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede should have assumed their places, lining the North Nave, depicted in amazing floral pictures standing 12ft high, each identified by his shield.
Another remarkable display is planned for the St Laurence Chapel. Flowers of Freedom, a moving outreach project, showcases work done by school children from as far afield as Vanuatu and Rwanda. Each participating school has submitted a flower that they believe best represents their country. Over twenty schools in all submitted their ‘flowers’ along with the reasons behind their choices. Some of these offer moving first-hand testimony from war-torn or disaster-stricken countries, where the youngsters' experiences of the values enshrined in Magna Carta are poignantly highlighted, either through the absence of them (independence, freedom, human rights) or the achievement of them.
Elsewhere, look out for some of the amazing structures created by blacksmith Pam Lewis and her family. Pam, one of the festival designers, made the lantern structures which are up to 4ft in diameter, while her husband and son made the arches.
In the North Transept a performance space features the three festival designers, Michael Bowyer, Pam Lewis and Angela Turner, demonstrating floral design accompanied by live music. Times and details can be found in the festival programme.
Amongst the musicians perfoming are David Halls (Director of Music at the Cathedral), Ros Bromley (leader of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra), classical singer Susan Hobkirk, oboeist Rosie Watson and early music specialist Louise Stewart. Former Cathedral Chorister Katie Salomon plays the harp on Friday afternoon and on Saturday an extraordinary young woman is singing. Hannah Read has a condition called prosopagnosia or 'face blindness', which means she can't recognise even her closest family. The final session on Saturday will feature folk band Poultry Cross, starring our very own Cathedral Floor Manager, Mark Bonner.
During Flower Festival the atmosphere in the Cathedral will not be terribly conducive to quiet prayer so for these six days we are suggesting that worshippers who wish to pray outside of service times visit St Thomas’ church. Please note that our regular daytime services at noon on Tuesday and Thursday are moved to Sarum College Chapel during the festival. For Morning Worship and Evensong service times and information, please click here.