Diocesan press releases

Open Doors 2016 in the Diocese of Monmouth

Cathedral%20ext%2001%20-%20CA number of churches across the Diocese of Monmouth are participating in this year’s national Open Doors event, which takes place throughout September as part of European Heritage Days.

Churches are offering tours, recitals, talks and exhibitions to showcase the fantastic heritage held within their walls and Newport Cathedral will be at the heart of the celebrations.

Lister Tonge, Dean of the Cathedral, says: “Since last year we have opened up the main space inside the Cathedral and it now looks more like it would have done hundreds of years ago, before it was filled with fixed pews. The wonderful, 900-year-old arches are revealed again in all their glory and the lovely floor enhances the sense of warmth and light. Whether you have known the Cathedral before or have never been inside, come and see Newport’s oldest and most beautiful interior public space.”

On Saturday 10 September the Cathedral will be open from 9.30am – 4:30pm when there will be guided tours of the tower, offering fine panoramic views across Newport and the surrounding countryside and demonstrations of the art of bell ringing, with a chance to see the bells themselves.

There will also be a lunchtime concert at 12noon performed by the Greater Gwent Brass Ensemble as part of the Music@St Woolos concert series.

The Cathedral shop will be open all day serving refreshments.

Jen Robinson from Newport Cathedral, says: “I’m delighted we have been able to open the Cathedral to the public in this way. This is a really special opportunity to see part of Wales’ hidden heritage, and we’re encouraging the local community, as well as visitors from further afield, to take advantage of this opportunity by visiting this weekend.”

Newport Cathedral stands on a site which has been practising Christianity for over 1500 years. Today it is a ‘walk through time’ with signs of pre-Norman stonework in the St Mary’s Chapel, the famous Norman Arch leading into the Norman nave with its medieval wagon-beam roof, considered to be a national treasure and deemed to be one of the oldest roofs in the country, terminating with the modern John Piper Mural situated behind the High Altar. The stained glass windows in the Cathedral are of interest, depicting the family of St Gwynllyw (Woolos) and biblical scenes. These windows date from 1875 onwards. In addition to a comprehensive guide book, guides will be on hand to give a fascinating account of the Cathedral’s interesting history.

There is no cost for entry to any Open Doors events. Open Doors gives everybody the chance to explore historic buildings and sites free of charge.

Open Doors is part of European Heritage Days, which takes place in 50 countries across Europe every September. It is Wales’ largest celebration of buildings and architecture, the largest volunteer event in the heritage sector in Wales, with over 1800 volunteers participating. The event is led by CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, in conjunction with partners across Wales.

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Notes to Editors:

  • For more information, please contact:

Debra Goddard, Diocesan Communications Officer

Email: debragoddard@churchinwales.org.uk

Tel: 01633 216091

  • For further information about Open Doors at Newport Cathedral, please contact:

Jen Robinson, Email: cameldrom13@hotmail.co.uk

Tel: 07772 335494