Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Norwich cathedral organ

click photo to enlarge
Having spent thirty odd years looking at ecclesiastical architecture I know that Sunday morning isn't the best time to visit a church if you wish to have unrestricted access to the building. There's an old joke about vicars only working one day a week, and Sunday morning is the time many churches are open for "business", so those in search of architecture, history and the rest, have to fit in when and where they can. But, sometimes your schedule is such that Sunday morning can't be avoided, and so it was last weekend when we called in at Norwich Cathedral.

As we cycled down to the cloister entrance the number of cars in the car park was the first clue that the building was in use. Then, when we entered the cloisters, the thunder of the organ and massed voices raised in hymns of praise confirmed it for us. However, we weren't down-hearted; in fact we were relieved, because we had just cycled eight or so miles into the city, and the threatening clouds had started to produce rain. So, we took advantage of the signs indicating that the chancel remained open to visitors, went in for a look around and some photographs, and then sat in the covered walk-way of the cloisters to wait for the service and the rain to stop.

After forty minutes or so people began to pour out of the building and we went in to view the nave and the other parts that we'd missed. I'd never visited this particular cathedral before, and my initial impressions are that I'm somewhat disappointed by the exterior, but impressed by the interior. I'll perhaps enlarge on that when I post some other shots. Today's image was one of those that forces itself upon you. It shows the heavy Norman columns and arches supporting the beautiful Gothic vaulting, with the attenuated organ pipes below. The floodlight roof and nave walls made an interesting warm background for the chancel and organ that remained unlit as it had been throughout the service.

When we came out of the cathedral it was still raining so we had a further wait until we felt able to venture out in to the city that, as well as a cathedral, also holds 35 medieval parish churches.

photograph & text T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12.8mm (60mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 800
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On