The Church(es) of England *Video*
I’m not a religious person, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring a beautiful church – the domed roofs, the wood carvings, the stained glass. One of the ways I’ve found to best experience a church while in England is to attend Evensong mass. Sitting quietly in a pew for 45 minutes gives me a chance at the end of a long touring day to enjoy the beauty of the church and listen to the choir sing. Nice!
Here’re 3 churches I enjoyed immensely:
St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
Several friends recommended I make time to visit St. Paul’s and I wasn’t disappointed. The inside was beautiful, with magnificent ceilings and stained glass windows, but so was the outside. I particularly like the sculptures in the surrounding garden, and the fact that the church is a lovely respite in the middle “The City.”
Exeter Cathedral, Exeter
It’s amazing that the Exeter Cathedral survived the German bombing during WWII. As my friend Jill explained, Germany targeted the 4 cities that were highlighted in one of the popular guidebooks of the day as excellent examples of English history.
Here Jill gives me a tour of the Cathedral Commons and points out the highlights of Exeter Cathedral:
Cant’ see the video? Click on this link: Exeter Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury
A 13th century church, Salisbury was spared Nazi bombing because the Luftwaffe used Britain’s tallest spire (at 123 meters / 404 feet) as a navigational guidepost as they targeted other English cities. The Cathedral not only has the tallest spire, but the largest medieval cloisters.
What I like most about the Salisbury Cathedral is that it houses one of the 4 surviving original Magna Cartas in the world. Written in 1215 on vellum, the Magna Carta is written in abbreviated Latin.
Importantly, the document outlines for the first time the relationship between the King and his subjects and their rights. The Magna Carta is the basis of most democracies in the world, and inspired the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Do you have a favorite church? How do you like to tour religious institutions?
This entry was posted on Monday, July 9th, 2012 and is filed under Europe.