Sunday 20 August 2017


We went to the cathedral this morning for the 10:30 communion service. It is about a mile from our mooring so we opted to take the Metrolink tram - as well as using the line we have travelled on to get to St Peter's Square.

We then changed to the Rochdale line for one more stop to Exchange Square which was just a couple of minutes away from the cathedral.

The service was held in the main nave which is dominated by the new Stoller organ. This instrument, costing £2.4 million, replaces one that was re-built after serious bomb damage about 75 years ago. Although it was installed last year and has been in use for several months, its official opening is scheduled for next month. As the above photo shows, the nave area is fairly compact and so the 80 strong congregation felt much more 'together' than it would in many of our English cathedrals. (At the moment, the Quire, like the Tower, is closed for renovation work)

The service was straightforward with a visiting choir providing the formal sung elements. The interesting and informative sermon was given by the Canon for Theology and Mission, David Holgate.

After the service we stayed for coffee and a chance to chat to one or two of the regular congregation, before looking around the building. The stained glass windows all seem to be very bright and colourful,. All of the Victorian windows were destroyed in the Manchester Blitz of 1940 so all of these are relatively modern. The Chapter developed a plan for a set of windows which are gradually being installed - the latest was completed last year. The one above is entitled Revelation.

and this one is called Healing.

Other features that caught our attention.

The cathedral plays an important role in the life of the city, none more so than in times of crisis. A poignant poem, written by Andrew Rudd, Poet in Residence, was a response to the bombing in May this year. In case you cannot read it from the above small picture, this is the text. We had to transcribe it from the full photo as we could not find it online.

Afterwards, the place is cordoned off
a steel fence across the road: in our heads

everything secured and locked down.
So here we come, walking into the square

as if we are quiet guests, on our way
to visit the house of friends, bringing flowers.

The morning warm and sill, the huge garland
laid out around a statue, then a ring

of journalists, presenters, witnesses
telling their fragments of story to the world.

Round them, the bristling ring of cameras,
the ring of armed police. The circle of city.

How many ripples, after the impact,
the stone dropped into the heart?

We decided to walk back to the boat. Almost immediately we came to one of the main entrances to the Arndale shopping complex so walked through it but did not find ourselves tempted even if we did look in a few windows.

Out the other side we were struck by this building, One Angel Square, the headquarters of the Co-operative Group.

Almost back and we took to the side streets behind Royal Mill. Quite a few other buildings are under construction or renovations of older ones. Sadly, the former Coates School became too dilapidated to save and is a modern look-alike and the plaque is perhaps the only feature of the original to be retained. So far we have not managed to discover anything about the original school.

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