Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne

You are warmly invited to visit Newcastle Cathedral – whether you wish to join us for worship, or are seeking some space for peace and quiet, or are interested in exploring the Cathedral’s treasures – all are welcome.” Cathedral of St. Nicholas

May 21, 2017, we visited the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. We were given a warm welcome of music when we entered the sanctuary. It was early evening, the time of Evensong. This service is usually a sung rendition of vespers following the Anglican tradition.

The cathedral is named after St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and boats, which speaks to the nearness of the River Tyne. It has a long history, beginning with a parish church built in 1091. Music has always been a strong tradition at the Cathedral.

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Canon for Music and Liturgy, has brought together a ‘Virtual Church Choir’ of volunteer singers from churches across the region. Recording their voices remotely, at home, they are being mixed together to provide three or four hymns each week for use in the Cathedral’s online worship – and by anyone else who would find them useful.” Cathedral of St. Nicholas

Today, as we celebrate Easter and the welcome of Spring, may we remember the words or Saint Francis of Assisi.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.”

61 Thoughts

  1. I was struck by the contrasts in the video: the glowing stained glass against the old stone, as well as the contemporary voices singing the old hymn. It must have been a transcendent experience to be in that cathedral.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It was a beautiful church, Liz. There is so much history held within the walls and yet the cathedral remains relevant for today. Can you imagine all the singers coming together virtually during COVID-19. I can’t even imagine how they would be able to do this!!! The acoustics of the building added to the resonance of sound. When we spoke with the senior minister, we found that one of the ministers had recently moved to Vancouver. Thank you so much for celebrating Easter together. Sending many hugs!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. You’re right about the acoustics of a cathedral being impossible to reproduce over Zoom from people’s living rooms. I wonder if you will meet up with the minister in your travels about Vancouver!

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I am not religious, but I visit the Churches whenever I travel. I like these Frescoes and the silence in there between the walls.
    Thank you, dear Rebecca. Have a great Easter time and a happy birthday. Stay safe and well. 💖🤗💖🎉✨🌹

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for joining me at St. Nicholas and adding depth and breadth to the conversation. Cathedrals and churches have been gathering points. They are keepers of history and tradition. You would be interested in this insightful article “Like the cathedrals of bygone eras, galleries are now the ultimate buildings of our times – and the way we use them mimics religious rituals, writes Jason Farago.”https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150716-why-museums-are-the-new-churches
      Thank you so much for your birthday greetings. Another year of adventure is waiting….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. xxxx Aladedin. for all the stories there are to tell. And believe you me, despite my own thoughts, right now in Scotland, I have thought it wrong that people who are religious have not been able to have that moment of reflection and belief. In that respect I was glad when the government here were taken to court over it and lost.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. What a wonderful way of celebrating Easter and Spring, my dearest Rebecca. Beautiful video of this Cathedral. I love the light coming through the stained glass, the voices and Saint Francis’ prayer. Happy Easter Monday, my dear friend. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The words of St. Francis are so inspiring and the music is beautiful and respectful. Happy Easter and thank you for this wonderful post Rebecca!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Meg, for joining me in the cathedral. We had a wonderful discussion with the minister who led the Evensong. We received a warm welcome. Happy Easter – isn’t it wonderful to feel the warmth of spring?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Lovely cathedral and lovely presentation by you, Rebecca! And I agree that the words of Saint Francis of Assisi are wonderful — sentiments religion should embody in an ideal world, but often not the case in the real world. 😦

    Newcastle upon Tyne is the setting for the band Renaissance’s excellent 1978 song “Back Home Once Again.”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Dave – thank you for the introduction to this song. It’s the first time I heard it and I had to find the lyrics:

      Come along with me
      The day can breathe once more
      To hear the sound of closing doors
      The night has opened up its eyes to see day
      A thousand moving just as one
      A feeling that’s so certain
      That when this day is done
      The paper lads will –

      Come with the dawn, casting light on the play
      Acting it out in our own special way
      Making our entrance and reading the lines
      The story of people who live by the Tyne

      I especially like the words: “The story of people who live by the Tyne.” Saint Francis has provided the ideal, which is not often the case in the real world. Did you know that John Knox was at St Nicholas? He was quite political and certainly did not believe in separating church and state. In 1558, he published that rule by women is contrary to the Bible, particularly Queen Mary 1. Cathedrals have witnessed profound moments and transitions in history.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, Paul! Renaissance has indeed aged well. I was a big fan of that band as a teen and in my 20s, and saw them in concert a couple of times; they were amazing live. The band still exists, but lead singer Annie Haslam is the only member remaining from their 1970s heyday. Her five-octave operatic voice isn’t what it was, of course, but it’s still pretty good.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. This is a beautiful message of photos and music. What a beautiful cathedral Did you take some of these photos? I am sure you visited and enjoyed being in the presence of such beauty. The stained glass is a work of exquisite talent and art. Thank you for sharing this on this special Easter Day! !
    !

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined me at the Cathedral. I was able to take photos in all the churches that we visited in England – all except Durham Cathedral. Taking photos is a way of keeping memories alive and I was grateful for the opportunity to take photos of the exquisite stained glass windows. The evensong service was beautiful.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I always loved to visit churches or cathedrals in England, and I therefore thank you very much, Rebecca, for taking me back and make me enjoy the Easter athmophere with the beautiful stained windows, the gothic church itself and the music! Happy birthday and stay well:) PS By the way I even found out what the expression “„Carry Coals to Newcastle“ means!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love visiting churches and cathedrals – so much history in every step I take. I do not know what Carry Coals to Newcastle means. I love when you send me on a journey of discovery. And this is what I discovered: “Selling, carrying, bringing, or taking coal to Newcastle is an idiom of British origin describing a pointless action. It goes back to a time when Newcastle upon Tyne was heavily dependent upon the distribution and sale of coal. Anyone bringing coal to Newcastle would be foolhardy as supply in Newcastle would be greater there than anywhere else in Britain. Did you get to the story of Timothy Dexter, an 18 century American entrepreneur and eccentric who did ship coal to Newcastle? A rival merchant persuaded him to sail a shipment of coal to Newcastle. It was a plot to ruin Mr Dexter, however, serendipity was on the side of the eccentric. Instead of being ruined, Mr Dexter received a large profit because his coal arrived during a miners’ strike which had crippled local production. I love how history unfolds in ways that surprise and amuse us.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Good morning, dear Rebecca, and your reaction to my storical hint is not only a pleasure but also interesting! I checked on Newcastle/wikipedia, because I wanted to know a little bit something about it and was amused by their coal business! I didn’t however, see the part of Mr. Timothy Dexter and the miner’s strike! I just have to laugh:) Thank you very much for having gone with me on this little discovery trip!! Big hug

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Robbie, for joining me at St. Nicholas. There is so much history – a love that we both share – within this cathedral. I can only imagine all the singing that has graced the sanctuary over the centuries. I had a wonderful Easter. The sun continues to shine on Easter Monday.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Always magnificent these beautiful structures and enhanced by the extraordinary leaded windows. Weather one believes in man made religions or not, one can but be in awe by the power that moved the citizens of their time to spend so many years to construct these architectural wonders. Thank you for sharing, Rebecca!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Jean-Jacques. There is a sense of history that surrounds these magnificent and costly structures. Perhaps they have been made in response to humanity’s need to understand the mysteries of life and the unfolding story – to find a place within the overarching narrative. Thank you for joining me at the Cathedral!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Rebecca, a beautiful ancient cathedral and similar to so many around the UK. One can almost sense the cold but the music, glorious architect and stunning windows takes one mind away from the physical discomfort. It is wonderful how the music, the heart of the cathedral, has remained constant throughout this last year through the virtual choir. Now it must soon be time for the church bells to ring out across the country – the village at home does not feel the same since they were silenced by Covid restrictions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I attended university in Edmonton, I lived near a church that had bells in the morning and in evening. I could set my watch by the sound of the bells. Even now, I recall the beauty of those moments, the pause that allowed me to know that I was not alone. I am reminded by this thought:

      “The temple bell stops
      But the sound keeps coming
      out of the flowers”
      Matsuo Bashō

      Sacred spaces opens our minds to see differently, more confidently. Whether it be in a man-made cathedral/temple, or within the natural environment of forest, ocean, mountain, we feel part of something greater that transcends time and space. Thank you for your lovely comments, Annika. I am delighted that you joined me at St. Nicholas!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Rebecca, a beautiful and most apt quote! 😀 Your words are as always uplifting and inspirational – I will keep these in mind as I head out for a walk amongst Nature on this heavenly sunny Spring morning. 😀❤️

        Liked by 3 people

  10. A week late but now catching up. Lovely church- again not formally religious but even I have to admit God got all the best artists and architects. On the other hand, the Devil got all the best (jazz and rock) music. Churches are a testament to the hopes and dreams of countless generations. In the old churches spiritual peace lies thick as dust- great places to get in touch with the eternal

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Castles, cathedrals, palaces so much grandeur built in a time when there were no bulldozers, cranes, forklifts and only humans with their backs and hands.
    Well, Rebecca, here I am, late to the party, again! It’s actually a part of a bigger plan. This way I get to see what everyone is wearing, and dress better. lolol!!!
    A lovely post for Easter. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are NEVER ever late to the party. In fact, the party becomes more joyful and glamorous when you make your appearance. I agree about the craft that went into making these remarkable buildings. I just read that Barcelona’s unfinished art project, The Sagrada Familia, which was schedule to be finished in 2021 is now been delayed until 2026 because of Covid. Let’s make a date to meet up in 2026 on the steps of The Sagrada Familia. What fun it would be to explore the cathedral together. Sending many hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Clanmother Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.