This August, the Cathedral invites you to take part in a number of events and activities which are designed to encourage us to take a moment to pause, reflect and find a sense of peace in our busy 21st century world. This forms part of Visit Gloucester’s ‘Serenity in the City’ campaign, which brings together visitor attractions across the city.
Canon Andrew Braddock, Interim Dean of Gloucester, said:
"Down the centuries, Gloucester Cathedral has been a place of prayer and welcome. This summer we encourage you to connect with that heritage afresh.
Our summer programme invites you to discover the Cathedral as a place of prayerful reflection. It is a place where we can draw closer to our true selves and to God through stillness, contemplation and activity, helping us to be mindful of the beauty of creativity and of our Creator.”
On Tuesday 2 August, the Labyrinth will return to Gloucester Cathedral. This is a winding path used for meditation and prayer, which is an exact replica of the 13th century labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral. Pilgrims have been walking labyrinths for thousands of years, with this symbolic journey representing the path to God, enlightenment or your deepest self; today, visitors are encouraged to pray or reflect as they walk, and to be still and focus their thoughts and feelings. The Labyrinth will be in the Nave during normal Cathedral opening hours until Friday 26 August, and no tickets are required to take part.
Sound bathing sessions
Sound bathing is an ancient practice that involves participants being ‘bathed’ in sound waves, and in doing so encourages you to relax and release stress and anxiety. On various dates throughout August, the Cathedral will be running sound bathing sessions in the spectacular surroundings of the Quire and Lady Chapel, with a soundtrack that has been specially composed by musician Jay Waddington. The sessions are open to all, and no booking is required. Further details can be found on the Cathedral website.
NHS Information Bus
The NHS Information Bus will be on Cathedral Green between 10am-4pm on Friday 29 July and Friday 12 August. Visitors will be able to chat to the team on the bus about mental health and wellbeing, and there will be plenty of helpful resources available. On Friday 29 July, there will also be the opportunity to meet with the team from the Severn and Wye Recovery College between 1pm-1.30pm on Cathedral Green.
Craft sessions with Adult Education in Gloucestershire
The Cathedral will be hosting craft sessions run by Adult Education in Gloucestershire this month; on 25 August and 31 August there will be the opportunity to make canvas butterflies, and also on 31 August there will be a workshop focusing on bead and felt crafting. Further details can be found on the Cathedral’s website, including information about eligibility for these sessions.
Movement and Mindfulness Classes
Run by Lucy Hagger of Journey Well Yoga, these classes use yoga and Pilates techniques with exercises that are designed to strengthen, stretch and mobilise the body whilst also helping participants find a sense of inner peace. The classes are free and will take place at various times in August; please visit the Cathedral website to find out more and to book your space.
Noah’s Ark Family Trail
The Noah’s Ark Family Trail is the ideal summer holiday activity. The trail will guide visitors around the Cathedral, highlighting the many animals that are hidden here and teaching you fun facts about them along the way. It’s free to take part, although donations are welcome, and when you complete the trail you’ll be able to collect a sticker from the Gift Shop. The trail is available until Saturday 3 September.
Summer holiday activity sessions
In addition to the trail, the Cathedral will also be running family activity sessions on Fridays throughout August. These sessions will take place in the Chapter House between 12.30pm-3.30pm, and they are free but the Cathedral is grateful for donations. You can email email@example.com to book your slot in advance, but walk-ups on the day will also be welcome.
Further details about all these events can be found on the Cathedral’s website, as well as on the Cathedral’s social media pages. Further information about Visit Gloucester’s ‘Serenity in the City’ campaign can be found at visitgloucester.co.uk/serenity-in-the-city.
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