Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The 2020 Children’s Festival

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Children’s Festival (Saturday 18th Jan) was a huge success. The day was jointly organised by Jess (the Cathedral Education Officer) and the Diocese’s Go Team. Children came with their families or with Church or uniformed groups and enjoyed a range of activities based on the theme “Running the Race” (1 Corinthians 9), from crafts to a ‘mini-Olympics’. The inflatable assault course in the Nave was especially popular! The day began and ended with worship and we were joined by Bishop Peter for the afternoon. A huge thanks to everyone who organised the day and to all of those who volunteered and made the day work. We look forward to more children’s events later in the year.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Rob James, Canon Chancellor of Wells Cathedral

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WiFi in Wells Cathedral – FAQs

Monday, January 20th, 2020

Over the next month, we will be finalising the process of setting up WiFi throughout Wells Cathedral thanks to our new partnership with Voneus, who have installed unobtrusive WiFi antennas to the top of the Central Tower. This has huge benefits to both the Cathedral and the City of Wells, and will allow us to enter a new digital age. So you can find out more about what we’ve installed, and how you can benefit if you live in and around Wells, we have put together a selection of Frequently Asked Questions:

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What has been installed on the Central Tower?

Voneus has installed antennas to the top of the tower, to receive and then transmit WiFi signals at low level radio frequencies. These are the same frequencies that are used by your WiFi router in your home.

What will this transmitter do?

The transmitters will provide transformative, Superfast broadband services to the Cathedral, as well as to the residents and businesses of the City of Wells. The transmitters use something called Beamforming Technology which means that unlike the Wi-Fi router in your home, that transmits in all directions to communicate with devices in your house, the transmitters we have installed form a very narrow beam between the Cathedral tower and the customer premises – not unlike the focused transmission of a laser beam.  This means there is little to no leakage outside of the beam itself. This will allow Voneus to offer Superfast broadband (30-50 Mbps for homes and up to 100 Mbps for businesses) to any building which has direct line of sight to the top of the Cathedral tower.

What are the benefits to the community? How do I sign up?

The transmitters will allow residences, or businesses with direct line of sight to the Cathedral Tower to benefit from Superfast broadband (30-50 Mbps for homes and up to 100 Mbps for businesses). To find out more, and to sign up, please contact Voneus directly using 0800 007 3377 or sales@voneus.com.

What are the benefits to the Cathedral?

Superfast broadband in the Cathedral will give us the opportunity to begin exploring exciting new projects that rely upon fast and reliable WiFi connectivity. Things like live broadcasting of services and concerts or a tour-guide app that allows users to receive information about different parts of the Cathedral as they explore the space. The improved connectivity will also significantly speed up the day-to-day running of the Cathedral, as well as allowing us to seamlessly sell tickets for tours, concerts and events online, at the Welcome Desk and in the Shop.

Is the transmitter the same as a mobile phone mast?

No, the transmitters use very different technology to mobile phone masts. The antennas we have installed are incredibly safe (confirmed by both a UK Government analysis and by the World Health Organisation), to the extent that the Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (“EIRP”) of these devices is less than the mobile phone in your pocket!

Do you have any plans to install a mobile phone, or 5G mast?

No, the Cathedral will never install a mobile phone, or 5G mast.

Will this equipment contribute negatively to my health, that of wildlife or flora and fauna, either in the Cathedral or outside?

No, this equipment is universally considered to be safe to all forms of life as it only uses non-ionising radio waves.

 

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How can I find out more?

If you’d like to find out more, you can come and visit the Voneus trailer, which will be in place outside the West Front of the Cathedral from 20 to 27 January – you can ask questions to Voneus staff, find out more about the WiFi, and how you can sign up, and can watch a video showing how the antennas were installed, which happens to include some amazing drone footage of the Cathedral!

If you have any further questions, then please feel free to get in touch with our Director of Marketing and Communications.

 

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Christian Aid

Friday, January 17th, 2020

Sunday 19 February

This Sunday, we come to the end of our Christian Aid campaign for this year and hope that all those who took Smartie tubes to fill with £1 coins have now handed them in so that we can pass the money on to Christian Aid.  We hope to have raised more than the £5,000 target which, through generous matching funding, should become about £30,000.  This will make a serious difference to the lives of refugees in Lebanon and Iraq.  Thank you very much indeed to all who have contributed.

This morning, we are very glad to welcome Mr Callum Humphries from Christian Aid. He will receive the Smartie tubes during the Collection, and then after coffee will speak to us about Christian Aid’s work in Lebanon and Iraq.  All who are interested in this immensely valuable work are most cordially invited to the Education Room from 11:30am until approximately 12:15pm.

Rosalind Paul, Canon Pastor

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Celebration of Volunteering in Somerset

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Sunday 9 February, 3pm

The Dean, Chapter and High Sheriff of Somerset are delighted to invite you to ‘Celebrating Volunteering’ – a multi-faith service at Wells Cathedral, which will involve the giving out of awards by the High Sheriff. This service will be followed by refreshments in the North Transept. All are welcome!

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The Bible and the Qur’an – A short course for beginners

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

The Bible and the Qur’an are source works for billions of Christians and Muslims worldwide, though for the followers of these great religious traditions the scripture of the other faith is nearly always literally a closed book.

This short course is intended to introduce some of the history of the Qur’an and its central teachings, and to examine the relationship between the two scriptures that share so many features and contents. The course stretches over a few weeks through January and February and the speaker will be Professor David Thomas, Canon Theologian:

•    The Bible in the Qur’an: Education Room, 2-4pm 8th Jan. Cost £5 (includes tea)
•    Can Christians and Muslims pray together? Education Room, 6:15pm 22nd Jan.
•    How can Christians understand Muhammad? Education Room, 6:15pm 5th Feb.
•    God and Jesus in the Qur’an and Bible: Glastonbury Retreat House, 10.30am-4pm, 19th Feb. Cost £18.50 to include a sandwich lunch.

To find out more about each session, click here.

To sign up, send your name and email address to Professor David Thomas (D.R.THOMAS.1@bham.ac.uk).

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Wells chosen as ‘Best UK city break’ for 2020

Monday, January 6th, 2020

We are delighted that Which? have chosen Wells as the ‘Best UK city break’ for 2020!

“Plum on the central green perches Wells Cathedral, an epic endeavour of ecclesiastical architecture raised as England’s first Gothic cathedral between 1175 and 1490.” Read more here.

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Robert Davies Exhibition – Lumen

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

We are delighted to be hosting artist Robert Davies in January and February, who will be presenting three films in the medieval surroundings of Wells Cathedral – one in the Chapter House, one on the steps leading to the Chapter House and a third film in the Corpus Christi Chapel.

In an unprecedented collaboration between the artist and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral, the exhibition will open on the feast of the Epiphany, 6th January, and will close on Candlemas, 2nd February 2020. Wells Cathedral has been a place of worship, sanctuary and spiritual contemplation for close on 1000 years, Davies’ three films are wholly in keeping with this tradition, addressing as they do themes of birth and mortality, place and memory. Their situation within the Cathedral will enhance their power and at the same time and in differing ways, will be conducive to meditation and self-reflection.

Launch event

If you would like to view the three films in the presence of the artist, and to discuss them with him, then you are more than welcome to come to the launch event for the exhibition in the North Transept of the Cathedral on Tuesday 7 January at 6.30pm. A free glass of wine will be provided!

About Robert Davies

Robert Davies has exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe and the Americas and recently won the People’s Prize at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. He lives and works in west Wales. Giles Baker-Smith has worked in the art world for 35 years and is the director of GBS Fine Art, an independent art dealership based in Somerset.

For more information about the films, and this exhibition click here.

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Promenade Concerts – January 2020

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

In January you can come and experience the mediaeval Nave as it would have been originally – that is, without chairs! Every year the chairs are removed for cleaning and for the series of Promenade Concerts, which allow concert-goers to wander around the wonderful space as music fills the building.

All tickets for these concerts are available from the Wells Cathedral Shop Box Office (01749 672773) and at the door. These would be perfect Christmas presents for friends or family!

Tallis Voices – Light of the World

Friday 17 January, 7.00pm

A beautiful programme of unaccompanied choral music from the renaissance and early baroque periods, celebrating the feast of Candlemas, conducted by Peter Leech. Tickets: £10.00; available from Wells Cathedral Shop Box Office (01749 672773), at the door, or by post from Dr Chris Lovell, Green Farm Cottage, The Green, Farmborough, Bath, BA2 0BA, (please enclosed s.a.e).

All proceeds in aid of the Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust.

Wells Cathedral School Promenade Concerts

Tuesday 21 January, 7.00pm
The brass and percussion department takes over the Cathedral for what is always a highlight in the calendar. The full range of instruments will be featured, showcasing specialist brass and percussion musicians alongside colleagues from the woodwind department. The concert climaxes with Elgar Howarth’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s thrilling Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition

Wednesday 22 January, 7.00pm
Wells Cathedral School woodwind musicians, together with selected guests from across the whole music department, present their annual promenade concert of sound and light in the spectacular setting of Wells Cathedral. This year the programme will feature an ambitious performance of Fasch’s Royal Fireworks Music for nine each of oboes, natural trumpets, and bassoons, plus three sets of timpani.

Tickets: £10.00; available from Wells Cathedral Shop Box Office (01749 672773), and at the door. In aid of Wells Cathedral Music.

Jeremy Cole – Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur
(The Birth of the Saviour)

Thursday 23 January, 7.00pm

Jeremy Cole (Director of Music) and Prebendary Elsa van der Zee (reader) give the annual performance of Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur (The Birth of Our Lord). Admisson is free, with a retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral Music.

Opus Anglicanum – Gregorian Chant Reinvented

Friday 24 January, 7.00pm

Opus Anglicanum return to Wells to present their much-loved feast of Candlemas chant, performed in the magical candlelit setting of the chair-free Nave – but with a difference. Improviser extraordinaire Jason Rebello, at the grand piano, weaves a unique and spontaneous spell around the ancient chants. Sold out last year, now on tour!

Tickets: £20.00; available online here, via the Wells Cathedral Shop Box Office (01749 672773) and at the door.

Vicars Choral and Schola Cantorum – Sounds Antiphonal

Thursday 30 January, 7.00pm

The Vicars Choral and Schola Cantorum of Wells Cathedral perform beautiful antiphonal choral music in the hidden spaces of Wells Cathedral, taking advantage of the glorious sound-world of the Cathedral’s ancient architecture

Tickets: £15.00; available from Wells Cathedral Shop Box Office (01749 672773), and at the door. Proceeds from this concert will go towards the work and mission of Wells Cathedral.

 

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Wells Cathedral enters the digital age with the help of Voneus

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with Voneus, a company working to bring superfast broadband to rural areas. This has involved the installation of a new, unobtrusive transmitter at the top of the Central Tower, which operates at low level radio frequencies. This will provide transformative, superfast broadband services to the Cathedral, as well as to the residents and businesses of the City of Wells, and will give us the opportunity to begin exploring exciting new projects that rely upon fast and reliable WiFi connectivity.

Here is an extract of the press release from Voneus:

“With a population of just over 10,000, Wells is the UK’s smallest city. Like many other of the UK’s rural communities, it has patchy access to high-speed broadband services. According to Ofcom, approximately 1,000 of the 6,593 premises within the city’s limits cannot access Superfast broadband services (those with speeds above 24 Mbps); while 41 buildings suffer connection speeds of less than 15 Mbps.

Voneus’ partnership with Wells Cathedral solves this problem by bringing Superfast Fixed Wireless Access broadband services to the whole of the city, without the long lead times and high levels of disruption associated with laying fibre optic cable.  A small, unobtrusive transmitter located on the top of the Cathedral’s tower, which – at 55 metres  – is the highest point in the city, can now beam broadband to any building with a direct line of sight, offering uncontended speeds of between 30 and 50 Mbps to residential homes, and up to 100 Mbps to local businesses, which include many retailers, cafes, galleries and light industrial units.”

“With Voneus’ help, we’re turning Wells into a truly digital cathedral with stronger connections to our local community as well as to people living much further afield,” said the Very Reverend Dr John Davies DL, Dean of Wells.

“We’re delighted to be working alongside Wells Cathedral to bring superfast broadband to the homes and local businesses of Wells, as well as to the Cathedral itself,” said Steve Leighton, CEO, Voneus. “This project is a fantastic example of the important role church buildings can play in connecting communities suffering from poor broadband coverage.”

Click here to read the full press release.

Voneus Broadband and Clerk of the Works at Wells Cathedral

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Appointment of new Director of Song Squad

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

The Chapter of Wells Cathedral is very pleased to announce that Naomi MacLeod-Jones has been appointed as the new Director of Song Squad.

The Acting Organist and Master of the Choristers, Jeremy Cole, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to secure Naomi as the new Song Squad Director at Wells Cathedral. Naomi’s wealth of experience both as a singer and as a teacher make her the ideal person to instil a love of singing in the members of our junior choir. We are looking forward to working with Naomi to build upon the strong foundations already in place, and to develop Song Squad in a number of directions. We are certain she will bring a great deal of enjoyment and inspiration to our youngest singers in the Cathedral.”

Naomi is a teacher and singer with a passion for inspiring young people to find their voices. She is a teaches at a primary school in Midsomer Norton where, in addition to her responsibilities as a classroom teacher, she leads a choir of fifty 8-11 year olds to whom she introduces a variety of musical genres, encouraging healthy singing habits along the way.  In addition to her teaching, Naomi continues to sing professionally.

Naomi said: “I cannot wait to begin working with Wells Cathedral’s Song Squad! I am greatly looking forward to exploring exciting repertoire, and supporting each child’s development as a singer.”

To find out more about the Song Squad, click here.

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