Over the coming week, to mark the Feast of Consecration, members of our community will be sharing their favourite part of the cathedral as a special thanksgiving for our building. Today Chris Milton, Chapter Clerk and Chief Operating Officer shares his favourite space.

The architecture of Hereford Cathedral offers a host of different niches, viewing angles, and unexpected vistas from which to admire and enjoy its spaces and spirituality, and I never cease to be amazed by the way it constantly transports one to different times, planes and places as one moves through the building.   

For me, the most dramatic of the transitions is in entering the little Stanbury Chapel in the North Choir aisle, as you step through a doorway from the scale and grandeur and bustle of the north choir aisle and the shrine of St. Thomas Cantilupe into an oasis of immediate and almost complete silence, which never fails to refresh and concentrate the mind. 

Not only the difference in sound, but the visual impact too shifts your senses, leaving you with a clear feeling that the doorway through which you have just passed is a transition point, perhaps even a time warp.  The sheer madness of putting fan vaulting into a room of this size, as you step down into it from the lofty simplicity of the choir aisle, leaves you not knowing if you are being cradled or feeling claustrophobic, and forces you to seek another focus, finding it in the benevolent regard of the Christ child on the reredos, and the serene calm of his mother’s expression.

And having settled, I love the juxtaposition of that spiritual calm, and the silent respect of prince and bishop painted on either side, with the worldly activity and robust practicality of the stained glass; architect and client examining plans, our own cathedral, castles and colleges, power and nobility in progress.  The chapel thus never lets you forget the world, but as a place of reflection, prayer and calm is always a perfect environment for refreshment from business, even if only for a few minutes.

We would like to thank our community for their support during this time as we, like so many other organisations, face a very challenging period. We have been truly touched by the kind messages from those who have been in touch to ask how they can support us. If you would like to find out more about supporting the cathedral please click here.