Thursday 11th August
Victoria street, Manchester, M3 1SX
I’ve been too busy to go walking recently, so I decided to write about Manchester Cathedral instead. I have recently become a welcome volunteer here and I have discovered it to be a very interesting place.
I work two shifts a month, and I have already met a few of the charming volunteers. Before I started, I had to complete some online training, and an in person induction. Then I got covid which pushed my start date back a few weeks.
I have enjoyed my time at the cathedral so far. The role consists of meeting and greeting visitors, trying to answer questions they might have, and informing them of any events happening on the site. There is a lot of information to learn, and it’s difficult to answer every question, but I’m trying to pick up things as I go. During my first shift they were preparing for a candlelit concert in tribute to Fleetwood Mac, so that was really cool to watch the set up take shape.
On my most recent shift, one of the volunteers offered to coach me for the tour guiding role. This was very kind of her as the position interests me a lot. I’m going to try and retain as much information as I can, and do my own research.
Speaking of research, the history of the site is captivating. The cathedral is believed to have dated as far back as the Anglo-Saxon period, the evidence for this is the ancient ‘angel stone’, still on display today. The basic structure of the building is Medieval, but the architecture has been updated over the years. In the Victorian era, a major restoration of the church was conducted, in the Gothic style. In the last century, part of the cathedral was destroyed by a German landmine in WWII. As a result of this some decades later, stained glass windows were installed to replace the damage.
The church continued to go through changes up until the present day, and I’m sure more changes will happen in the future! There is so much to learn about the history of this cathedral, and I have only scratched the surface. So stay tuned for another cathedral post once I’ve done more research down the line.
Sources: volunteers and literature in the Cathedral