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On Air this Sunday

by Michael Ford last modified 24 Jul, 2020 04:39 PM

At 8.00 am this Sunday (26 July) a service marking the 800th anniversary of the Cathedral will be transmitted across the BBC local radio network in England - 39 stations in all including BBC London digital.

Contributions to the service led by Canon Anna Macham were recorded the Trinity Chapel, the oldest part of the Cathedral, just a few yards from where the foundation stones were laid 800 years ago.

Its theme is 'Holy Ground' and, as the service begins, Canon Anna reflects on the history embedded in this sacred space:

"It’s amazing to think of all the prayers that have been said here, the hymns, psalms and anthems that have been sung, the people who have come here on high days and humble ones. This is the chapel where the Cathedral clergy meet each morning for prayer. Of course for some weeks we were unable to this and so prayed in our own homes."

In his talk the Dean, Nick Papadopulos, speaks about returning to the Cathedral after lockdown and discovering holiness afresh. The hymns are from recordings by the Cathedral Choir with a reading and prayers from members of the Cathedral congregation.

The recording also features a conversation with Gary Price, the Clerk of Works, who describes what it’s like to climb to the top of the Spire to maintain the warning light and anemometer (an instrument that measures wind speeds).

Visible for miles around and rising 123m skywards, the Spire is a symbol of the heavenly aspirations of its medieval builders, and the view from above is breath-taking, as Gary explains:

"You kind of take stock and marvel how they built this Spire and Cathedral in the first place, it is just magnificent. It's just awe-inspiring really. Maybe they had some divine intervention."

The Salisbury service was produced by one of our own honorary canons, Tim Daykin, who recently retired after 17 years as the producer and presenter of Sunday Breakfast, the faith programme on BBC Radio Solent.

For him the service marks both an ending and a new beginning:

"I’m thrilled that one of my last jobs for the BBC has been to produce a service from Salisbury Cathedral. My association with the Cathedral began when supporting the diocese as a member of the communications group and then, more recently, as part of the College of Canons and a current member of Chapter. It is a place that I hold dear both as a part of the Cathedral community and a priest."

Recording took place after the Cathedral had closed and all contributions were made in line with government guidelines on worship and social distancing.

If you wish to listen to the programme, tune in to your local BBC station or catch up via BBC Sounds.

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