Light Night 2024
4200 people visited Nottingham Cathedral as part of the City's annual Light Night Trail.
Nottingham Cathedral was pleased to have participated in Nottingham City’s annual Light Night Trail this last weekend. For the second year running, visitors were offered an immersive light and sound experience which showcased the architectural and spiritual beauty of this AWN Pugin gem. Over the evenings of 2-3 February, approximately 4200 visitors were welcomed to the Cathedral to explore its architecture, to experience the illuminations, to enjoy a programme of live sacred music, to light candle or to take part in lantern-making workshops.
An annual fixture on the Nottingham arts and culture scene, Light Night offers many immersive and interactive light-based installations, performances and activities across the city. The even aims to offer high quality art within the City, to encourage residents to see the City in a different light, open buildings which may usually be inaccessible after hours and to provide some luminous joy in the midst of the dark winter months.
A simple yet spectacular light installation and experience was offered to visitors, highlighting the beauty of this Pugin masterpiece. The stunning arches and chapels of the Cathedral were illuminated with beautiful colours, highlighting the depths and heights of this Gothic Revival build. There were gasps of joy as newcomers walked through this captivating experience and those familiar with the Cathedral commented on how the lighting had moved the space from being two-dimensional to something much more three dimensional. Throughout the evening visitors were treated to live choral and organ performances, with a number of visitors commenting that the music really completed the experience for them. As visitors passed by the Sanctuary as they completed the light trail, they were offered the opportunity to light a candle on the Sanctuary steps. More than 2500 candles were aglow on the Sanctuary steps over the course of these two evenings. Many were visibly moved by the beauty and splendour of what a number a number of visitors called ‘a hidden gem’ in the city and volunteers were encouraged to do more to share and showcase it. In addition to this experience inside the Cathedral, thanks to a small grant from the Arts Council and a new collaboration with the neighbouring Nottingham Playhouse, the Cathedral’s Restoring Pugin project team and volunteers hosted lantern making workshops across both evenings. This is the second year the Cathedral has joined the trail and the Friends were pleased to be able to offer these additional activities and also to see more than twice as many visitors through the Cathedral than last year’s event. The weekend further encouraged the Cathedral in its ambitions to continue to raise the Cathedral’s profile in the City and region, finding new ways to reach out to different audiences and offering people an encounter with the Lord and His Church through beauty, heritage, music, arts and culture.
Canon Malachy Brett, Cathedral Dean,
‘It was amazing to welcome so many people to the Cathedral for Light Night 2024 and to see numbers double on last year’s event. As a parish priest, it is so encouraging to see such growth, and this is down to the creativity and generosity of our diverse Cathedral community who made this event possible. It’s exactly what a Cathedral parish should be about; confidently and proudly opening its doors to the wider community and welcoming people in to experience the beauty of our Catholic faith, through our patrimony.’
Spokesperson, Friends of Nottingham Cathedral.
‘The outstanding success of this year’s Light Night further convicts us in our belief that our heritage is something of sleeping giant when it comes to mission and evangelisation in a post-Christian and post-modern culture. With a little creativity and a compelling invitation, the beauty of our architecture, our musical tradition and simple acts such as lighting a candle, can become a non-threatening entry point for people to glimpse and experience the Divine. Who knows what seeds were planted over the last weekend?’
The event was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Nottingham Cathedral, the Music Department of the Cathedral, the National Schools’ Singing Programme, Cathedral volunteers and staff, the NLHF Restoring Pugin project team, Nottingham Playhouse and the Arts Council.