Highlights of past Friends events

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Autumn 2019

The Friends had a busy Autumn; at the beginning of October Adrian Barlow gave us a most interesting lecture on “The Daring Art of Tom Denny”.  We had time before tea to look at the windows, before it got dark, enjoyed Choral Evensong, then went to the Lady Chapel for the lecture.  At the end of October, we had a private viewing of the art installation The Museum of the Moon.  Dr. Peter Cadogan, a lunar scientist gave an excellent talk describing the race to land a man on the moon.  At the beginning of December, we had our Festive Party in the Chapter House, where we were entertained by Carole and Malcolm Brown with their programme of songs. 

Photograph of Adrian BarlowDr Peter Cadogan under the Museum of the MoonFriends at the Museum of the MoonCarole and Malcolm Browne singing at the Friends Festive Party 2019

Summer Party 2019Rainbow seen from Highnam Court Orangery - FOGC Summer Party

In June we made a return visit to Highnam Court for our Summer Party. The roses were all in bloom and the rain held off for long enough to allow us to see them! Our entertainment was provided by the Assistant Director of Music Jonathan Hope and Organ Scholar Christopher Too. They each gave a short piano recital, with Jonathan paying a compliment to Parry by playing two of the miniatures from The Shulbrede Tunes, a suite that captures family portraits with aspects of Shulbrede Abbey, Parry’s home. Hearing it played on Parry’s piano was especially moving. There was supper in the Orangery, during which there was a thunderstorm, before we saw a rainbow arching over the garden.

Crucible 2 (2014)

In 2014 the Crucible 2 sculpture exhibition visited the Cathedral. To prepare for this event the Friends visited the New Art Centre at Roche Court, near Salisbury. The house and orangery were built in 1804 and are set in a sloping park surrounded by woods, which are now used as a sculpture park and garden. There is also an Artists’ House where smaller works are exhibited. Larger works are displayed outdoors and include sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Antony Gormley, Anthony Caro and Edward de Waal. The Curator at Roche Court, Stephen Feeke gave one of the Crucible lectures.

The Friends had a private View of Crucible 2. This was combined with our summer party and was very successful, with a large group of Friends and guests being able to walk quietly amongst the art works in the Cathedral and enjoy the late evening sun in the cloister garth, before enjoying supper in the Chapter House.

One of the aims of the Friends is to add value to Cathedral activities and so Crucible 2 was enhanced by four lectures organised by the Committee to give different perspectives on aspects of art.

Monumental Steel Bull by Terence Coventry in front of Gloucester CathedralPomona by Ralph Brown in Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters. Image taken by Steve Russell StudiosBeyond Silence by Ann Christopher in the Cathedral Garth

Previous lectures

Over the last few years, eminent academics have celebrated important anniversaries with us. These include lectures on Magna Carta, the coronation of the young Henry III in Gloucester Abbey in 1216 ( a spectacular re-imagined event with musicians), the history of the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries in England, the appointment of William Laud as Dean in 1616 and the role of horses in the British Army in World War I.

In addition Friends have learned about the instruments depicted in the angel roof of the Quire (with musical demonstrations on reproduction instruments), Bishop Hooper, Abbot Parker, the stained glass of the Great East Window and the Cathedral chimes.

Portrait of William LaudStained Glass window by Tom Denny in Gloucester CathedralFront page image of a booklet about The Chimes of Gloucester CathedralStained Glass image of the coronation of Henry III


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