Gloucester Cathedral in a Different Light

Gloucester Cathedral Cloister at NightGloucester Cathedral Cloister with Three of the BYU Singers

Last night I had the evening of a lifetime. My husband and I attended a benefit concert for Cobalt, a medical charity that is working to raise £1,000,000 to purchase a much-needed CT scanner. The Brigham Young University Singers, performing at the majestic Gloucester Cathedral, couldn’t have chosen a better venue. Their voices were heavenly, and I’m not just trying to be clever because we were in a cathedral. As far as I could tell, every note was in tune, every voice was in perfect sync and harmony with every other voice in the choir. At certain times I was on the verge of tears, having goosebumps, or feeling vibrations in my bones. And most pieces had no musical accompaniment! At times, I don’t think a chorus of angels could have sounded any better.

I did not record any of the concert, but the BYU Singers’ website has a few videos. An example of what I’ve described can be heard in the “I’m on My Journey Home” clip. Amazing. Also, we were asked not to take any photographs, so I don’t have pictures either, but I did manage to take a few of the cathedral during intermission.

Gloucester Harbor Buildings, United KingdomBefore I get to the interior pictures, I thought I might give a sense of the location. I think the port city of Gloucester has something of a grittiness to it. Even though the once industrial port has been transformed and repurposed for more leisure uses, the working quality remains. (This photo and the one below were taken in February.)

Gloucester Harbor Sunset, United KingdomGritty or not, history is everywhere.

Gloucester Cathedral Tower with Seagull

Standing by the car in the parking structure, I saw what could be a perfect pictorial summary of Gloucester, with the cathedral playing a central role. So leaving the city’s aesthetic intermingling for the cathedral’s vaulted interior filled to the top with soaring vocals was like being transported to another time and place. At one point I thought to myself, “I am listening to amazing music in a cathedral in ENGLAND!” Sometimes life can be better than a dream.

Gloucester Cathedral Quire at NightWalking around at intermission, I went into the quire (choir) and looked back towards the performance area just beyond the arch. The organ provided a lovely backdrop for the concert, the silhouette of which can be seen here above the screen, but it was not played.

Gloucester Cathedral Morley Memorial

This lovely monument is to Sarah Morley from her devoted husband. Sarah, only twenty-nine, gave birth while at sea and died just a few days later. My husband and I were admiring this beautiful and touching yet tragic memorial when a gentleman walked over and spoke with us for a bit, telling us that it was carved by Wedgwood. Checking the cathedral’s website, I learned that, indeed, it was done by Wedgwood designer John Flaxman.

Gloucester Cathedral Altar at NightThis last photo is of the high altar with the Great East Window behind. During the day, the window is full of color, but at night it seemed altogether different. In truth, the whole cathedral had a very different feel from when we visited in February. All in all, the night was unforgettable.


About satnavandcider

An American expat living in England, exploring the United Kingdom and Europe through five senses and a camera lens.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Buildings, Cotswolds, Destinations, England, United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Gloucester Cathedral in a Different Light

  1. avian101 says:

    Excellent pictures! 🙂
    If you had a picture editor like PS you could make these pictures look like masterpieces!

    • Sadly, my husband’s computer has Photoshop Elements, but I have no idea how to use it. I’m planning to purchase a manual so that I learn, though! Thanks for the compliment. It is much appreciated.

      • avian101 says:

        I hope that you won’t mind that I did the processing of 3 of your photos. Please retrieve them form:

        • I took a look at your versions of my photos and can see that they are brighter with more detail visible. For this post, though, I was pretty happy with my photos’ exposures because I thought/hoped they would convey a certain mood I felt while in the cathedral at night. But you’ve given me food for thought.

  2. Amy says:

    These are magnificent! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Monique says:

    I like your atmospheric photos. Editing works best when it compliments the scene and mood, and the story you are telling, imo. I love cathedrals and churches at night. What a cool experience.

  4. A charming shot of the seagull and the spires! 🙂

  5. Wistful for choral music now! 🙂

  6. Minnie says:

    Lovely pictures, Satnavandcider – just thought I’d add that Flaxman was quite a celebrated sculptor in his day, esp. for memorial works. A London telephone exchange was named after him; it covered part of Chelsea, and I remember it being regarded as very glamorous when I was a child – and recall seeing characters in old British black-and-white films answering their ‘phones “Flaxman 132” … brings it all back! The numbering systems have changed several times since then, becoming entirely digital (and very boring as a result!).

    • Thanks, Minnie. I don’t know if getting a telephone exchange named after you is an honor for work as a sculptor, but it sure is a way for people to remember your name. 😉 I did not know any of this about Flaxman, so thank you for sharing.

  7. Beautiful pics – you have a great eye for composing your shots. And the music must have been marvelous. Great music has the power to truly transport us to another place and time. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Unfortunately, Heathrow is all I’ve seen of England so far. Someday…

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