Yesterday (Monday 7 December) The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a service to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the foundation of Salisbury Cathedral.
During the service of thanksgiving Their Royal Highnesses unveiled a specially engraved stone, carved in the Cathedral Work Yard to mark the occasion. The commemorative stone, made of 150-million-year-old Jurassic Limestone, was extracted from the same seam as the stone originally used to build the Cathedral.
The stone will remain on display in the Cathedral until Saturday 12 December 2020, after which it will placed high up at the East end of the Cathedral, where restoration work is currently underway - a marker for future generations to discover.
After the stone was unveiled His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales gave an address in which he reflected on the Cathedral’s past and the future:
“As we gather here, we are profoundly aware of all those who have gone before us, who have bequeathed us the magnificent legacy of this glorious building, and who have maintained the spiritual community which has kept the flame of faith alive here for so many centuries.
“Over the years, each challenge in turn has been overcome, and that is the case today when, thanks to the inspiring work of all those who have been involved in providing vaccines, we can now look forward with renewed hope.
“The work of building, of maintaining and of protecting for the future is for us all to take forward, in each generation - as you have done so splendidly here.”
Following the service, Their Royal Highnesses signed the visitors’ book and met Cathedral staff and volunteers in the Cloister. A posy made by the flower arranging team was place on the book signing table.
The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury said:
“We are delighted that 2020 is drawing to a close with a royal visit to mark our 800th Anniversary. This is an occasion when Cathedral, city and the region can remember and give thanks for our shared past, and look ahead with hope and confidence.”
You can read the address by HRH The Prince of Wales and the homily by the Dean here.