Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Wells Cathedral Welcomes New Development Director

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Wells Cathedral welcomes a new Development Director

Nicholas Selman will be joining Wells Cathedral as Development Director from April 2019 with a brief to raise funds both for core work and for capital projects at the Cathedral. Nicholas is currently Director of Development for the London Symphony Orchestra and has a track record of successful fundraising in a number of contexts.

The Very Revd Dr John Davies DL, Dean of Wells said ”We are delighted to welcome Nicholas to Wells Cathedral at what is an exciting and ambitious phase of development.   The upkeep, renewal and development of the Cathedral’s estate – its extraordinarily beautiful buildings, grounds and gardens – are all part of our vision to provide the very best facilities, environment and resources for both pilgrims and visitors.   Nicholas’ appointment will herald a step-change in fundraising capability which is needed to satisfy the future development aspirations and priorities of the Cathedral ”

Nicholas comments “It is a great honour to be chosen to work towards the long term sustainability of one of the most important and beautiful buildings in England, and the ministry it exercises. I am delighted I can contribute to the Cathedral’s enduring legacy.”

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Early Music Wells Concert: 21st March 7.30pm

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Thursday 21 March 7.30 – 8.40pm (in the Quire)


Jeremy Cole, Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral, will give a concert of organ music for Lent, including the seasonal chorale preludes from J.S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein and extracts from his monumental Clavier-Übung III, along with works by Buxtehude and Pachelbel.

Note that admission is free (not as published in the Music in Wells 2019 leaflet) with a retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral Music.

All welcome!

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Lent 2019

Monday, January 28th, 2019

Lent 2019 at Wells Cathedral

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 6 March. The Lent programme at Wells this year will have two strands – a book group on a weekday evening and on Sunday afternoons, at Evensong, there will be a series of addresses on the theme ‘Christian Spirituality Explored’:

Christian Spirituality Explored

A series of addresses, with follow-up seminars on certain dates, plus displays and hospitality.

All as part of Evensong at 3pm

Our aim is to offer an engaging and stimulating series of sessions, at a time which doesn’t conflict with Lent activities in parishes.

To help us prepare please RSVP if you would like to come to 

Lent Book Group

During Lent this year there is also an opportunity to explore the book “Knowing Jesus” by James Alison, first published in 1993. There will be four meetings, each centred on one of the four chapters in the book. They will take place in the Cathedral’s Chapter Room, each lasting one hour, at 6.15pm on Tuesdays 12 March, 19 March, 26 March and 2 April. If you are interested, get in touch, via email, with

Knowing Jesus can be obtained from SPCK at £9.99 (, and there may be cheaper copies on Amazon.

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Chained Library Tours

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Wells Cathedral has one of the few chained libraries in Britain and is not generally open to the public.

It is especially attractive as it is still in its original location built in the 1450s, although the current bookshelves and chains are 17th Century. The Chained Library houses books published before 1800 which were collected by the canons in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, reflecting their wide-ranging intellectual interests.

Please allow one and a half hours for this popular tour. Be aware that access is by a stone spiral staircase and may not be suitable for those with mobility problems.

How to book:

Places do need to be pre-booked via Eventbrite here. Maximum tour numbers apply.

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High Parts Tours 2019

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

“If you’re reading this go online and book the high parts tour… it’s a fascinating 90 min tour of the upper areas of the cathedral … you won’t be disappointed!” (TripAdvisor feedback)

2019 dates available!

Climb the spiral staircase to walk in the footsteps of Wells Cathedral masons with new behind-the-scenes tours of Wells Cathedral’s High Parts; one of the most memorable things to do in Wells!

Click here to book your place on this hugely popular one and a half hour tour of the Cathedral’s hidden spaces at height!

Access is via spiral staircases and booking terms and conditions apply.

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High Sheriff ‘Celebrating Somerset’ events: Friday 22 February

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

The High Sheriff of Somerset and Bath Spa University proudly present

Celebrating Somerset: Sumorsǣte ealle

Including special guest Jeremy Irons for the Celebrating Somerset evening gala performance!

From Porlock to Portishead, Chard to Chew Magna, Wincanton to Widcombe and everywhere in between, Sumorsǣte ealle means “all the people of Somerset”. The High Sheriff of Somerset is excited to extend an invitation to everyone living in the county to join him in marking the end of his shrieval year at an inspiring, moving and unique reflection of our beautiful and diverse home.


Flying dragons through Wells

The people of Somerset are invited to meet at Wells Recreation Ground to help fly the dragons of Somerset through the city, towards Wells Cathedral.


FAMILY FETE, 11am-1pm

Somerset folk

Everyone is invited to come to a free family fete at Wells Cathedral.  Featuring a range of performances from professionals, community groups & local schools as well as dragon making workshops, this will be an inspiring morning for all ages.

Involving performances from: Bolly Bhangra, Wells Cathedral School, Pocketfluff Productions, Wassail Theatre, Somerset Youth Dance Company, Stoberry Park Primary, St Dunstan’s Primary, Somerset Storytellers and more.



Including special guest Jeremy Irons 

Somerset at its best

A mixture of performances from a range of professional, community & students at Wells Cathedral, highlighting the artistic brilliance of Somerset.   This specially curated evening will feature music & song, contemporary & classical dance, storytelling & poetry, circus & theatre.

Involving performances from: Knights of King Ina, Bolly Bhangra, Wells Cathedral School, Amanda Boyd and Dan Shaw, Crystal Spring, Ian Ross & Friends, Pocketfluff Productions, Shoebox Theatre, Wassail Theatre and more.

This is a ticketed event.

Gala Tickets:

Only available via Eventbrite here. Not available via the Cathedral shop.

All proceeds from this event will be going to Somerset Crimebeat, a charity that will use the funds to encourage and enable young people from the most disadvantaged corners of the county to pursue a pathway to an apprenticeship.

Sponsored by Strode College, Wessex Water, and Lyecross Farm.

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Wells Heritage Pass – access to three Wells heritage sites

Friday, December 7th, 2018

The Cathedral, The Bishop’s Palace and Wells & Mendip Museum have joined up to offer residents and visitors the chance to enjoy unlimited access to these three historically significant sites in Wells all year round with one annual ‘Heritage Pass’.

The Wells Heritage Pass starts at £40 for an individual, and also offers Joint and Family options. Heritage Pass purchasers will also benefit from a 10% discount in the shops and be given a free tea/coffee voucher for the Cathedral cafe (single use).

How to Buy:

At the moment, you will need to come to the Cathedral in person to purchase your Heritage Pass (Donation Desk only) between 10am-4pm (11am-3pm on Sunday).  Going forward we will be enabling online purchases so watch this space!


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Monthly Taize prayer meetings

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

The monthly Taize prayer meetings take place on the first Thursday of every month in the Vicars’ Close Chapel at 7pm with a song practice beforehand at 6pm.

The service is made up of readings and chants, taken from the community of Taize in France, with a focus on contemplation and reflection.    All are warmly invited to attend.

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Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Climb the spiral staircase to walk in the footsteps of Wells Cathedral masons with new behind-the-scenes tours of Wells Cathedral’s High Parts; one of the most memorable things to do in Wells!

“If you’re reading this go online and book the high parts tour… it’s a fascinating 90 min tour of the upper areas of the cathedral … you won’t be disappointed!” (TripAdvisor feedback)

Tour participants will discover hidden spaces, galleries and chambers including behind the Wells clock (considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain) and one of only two surviving medieval tracing floors in the country where masons drew designs of areas of the building on the floor. The route will take in a walk along the singing gallery, discover Wells Cathedral’s trumpet holes, explore the south transept roof space and allow participants to marvel at the nave from a very different perspective!

Tours will run regularly throughout the week and places can be pre-booked here on Cathedral’s website or via the link below.

Who can book:

The maximum number in any upper levels tour is 12 . Children under the age of 10 years are not permitted on the tour. Children between the ages of 10 and 16 years must be accompanied by one adult for every two children, unless they are part of an organised youth group when at least two adults must be in attendance.

Any visitors with a fear of heights or confined spaces and/in poor health should consider carefully their suitability for the tour. There are up to 250 steps, uneven floors, low ceilings and the narrowest point is just 60cm (2ft.) wide. The tour route does not include access to the top of the tower.

Visitor Safety Instructions and Terms and Conditions:

Please read this information carefully as you will be expected to comply with all restrictions and requirements listed below; the Cathedral wishes you to have an enjoyable and safe tour experience and we are grateful for your co-operation. A copy of Visitor Safety Instructions and Terms and Conditions can also be downloaded here.  Also note that this is a busy, working Cathedral so on occasion there may be some noise from other activities taking place, but this should be minimised due to the nature of the tour route.

The tour is not recommended for any of the following visitors:

The lead Cathedral Guide is in charge of the tour; anyone not following the Guide’s instruction will be escorted back to the ground floor level while the rest of the group wait.

The Cathedral reserves the right to refuse any visitor admittance on the tour if deemed to be in breach of any of the above. This will be for your safety and for the safety of others. The Cathedral’s decision is final and is not subject to appeal.

How to book:

Bookings can be made via the website up to 24 hours prior to the tour taking place; click on the month of your choice below to choose your preferred day and time.  Or check availabilty at the Donation desk when you arrive at the Cathedral.

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018


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Newsletters & Chapter Letter

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Monthly eNewsletter

Click on the link to download a copy of the monthly e-newsletter for Wells Cathedral which provides a summary of all service and events taking place in the forthcoming month.

If you would prefer to receive your newsletter automatically via email each month please follow the instructions on this page.

Weekly Chapter Letter

Click on the link to download a copy of our Weekly Chapter Letter, Sunday 24 February 2019 which is also available, in printed form, in the nave of the Cathedral.



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