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Dorset Moon is a hit with over 17,000 visitors

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Jul, 2019 02:21 PM

The Moon has always held a special fascination, but it seems when it is hung in an Abbey it can attract thousands who want to take a look.

Dorset Moon is a hit with over 17,000 visitors

Photo courtesy @SherborneAbbey on Twitter

The official tally of visitor numbers to Sherborne Abbey during the three days of the 'Dorset Moon' art installation is 17,680. Very nearly 4,000 came to see Luke Jerram’s famous sculpture of the Moon on Friday 5 July, over 6,000 on the Saturday, and over 7,000 on Sunday.

Commenting on the numbers, the Revd Canon Eric Woods, Rector of Sherborne said:

"Though the organisers told us to expect thousands, I don’t think we quite believed them. In the end the crowds far surpassed anything we had imagined. But what particularly struck me was the effect the Moon had on most people.

"Many were awe-struck, and some simply sat and contemplated it for a long time. My hope is that, having wondered at this sculpture of part of God’s creation, they will move on to consider the wonder of our Creator God."

In his sermon preached below the Moon, Eric said:

"Never did I think I would be preaching to you by the light of the silvery moon. But I promise you that I will not croon, or spoon, sing you a tune or cuddle you soon (except my lawful wedded wife, of course) – though if you are under, say, 50, you won’t have the first idea that I’m quoting from a song sung in a 1953 film by Doris Day and Gordon MacRae. (I hasten to add I was only 2 at the time!).

"But here it is, the Moon, on its last day with us. 7 metres in diameter, the illuminated globe uses high-definition NASA imagery of the moon’s surface. It has travelled the world and captivated thousands."

Later as the Moon left the Abbey for Weymouth, the Rector paid tribute to the organisers, Activate, and their on-site team:

"They were a brilliant group of real enthusiasts," he said, "always cheerful despite working very long hours – the Abbey was open until midnight each day. Special thanks are due to my Head Verger, Duncan Withers, who was always the last to leave and was a wonderful representative of the Abbey."

The Moon was seen for the last time in Dorset at Weymouth’s Nothe Fort from 12 – 14 July.

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