Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cathedral Space That Even Welcomes Heathens like Me

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cathedral Space That Even Welcomes Heathens like Me

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE FOX

ST Nicholas' Cathedral in Newcastle was a beautiful place for a concert. Stunning red and purple lights lit up the ancient stone arches and Amelia Lily's highlights.

Biblical figures shone in stained glass windows and were brought to life again in the Geordie nativity play by Billy Mitchell, Ray Laidlaw and Blue Peter's Helen Skelton as a Mary looking for somewhere to stay in the JD Sports Direct Inn.

I suddenly realised we were in a cathedral and changed my choice of poems at the last minute, leading to what was hopefully the first utterance of "I'm going to drop the willy" in the chantry.

The good cause was the Teenage Cancer Trust and the charity single Here We Stand was belted out beautifully by Britain's Got Talent winner Jai McDowell and velvet-voiced former cancer patient Melissa Cavanagh.

If there's even a bit of you tempted to download the X Factor single, divert that urge to this tune instead.

Maybe Russell Brand is looking for somewhere a It was all very charitable and Christmassy and feel-good. However, what bit different to perform his new show Messiah Complex? really sent me out of there with a mince pie-sized ball of optimism about the future in my heart, was a chat with the cathedral's event manager and verger.

These two dynamic women are part of the cathedral's move to get more people in and using it.

The pews will be taken out (and sold) and replaced with flexible seating in the form of benches, which mean the central space can be used for all sorts of eventsfrom concerts to meetings. I assumed that a heathen like me, whose only Christmas arrival ever eagerly anticipated is that of Peter Capaldi as the new Dr Who, would not be included in this opening up. But it turns out that the cathedral space originally started off as a secular one.

It was built to be used for all sorts - from markets to the assizes where people were sentenced to be shipped off to Australia. …

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