HRH The Duke of Gloucester officially opened a lighter and more welcoming main entrance at Peterborough Cathedral today
HRH The Duke of Gloucester officially opened a lighter and more welcoming main entrance at Peterborough Cathedral today (23rd April).
Standing on the newly levelled ground just outside the 14th century Cathedral porch the Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Revd Donald Allister, said prayers of dedication and blessing before His Royal Highness cut the ribbon and entered through the new, automatically opening glazed doors.
“The re-landscaping of the area between the Norman Arch and the porch means that there is now step-free access all the way from the far end of the city centre,” said the Very Revd Charles Taylor, Dean of Peterborough in his address at the service. “The new glazed, insulated porch means we can open the mediaeval doors pretty well all year round, thus offering the visitor a vista which encourages entry and exploration”.
Explaining how on many occasions he would find visitors peering through the dark leaded glass of the previous entrance and saying “Oh, I think it’s shut”, the Dean said that easier physical access was just the first phase of a project which would eventually include state-of-the-art interpretation of the Cathedral’s history and a fully equipped Heritage and Education centre.
Speaking during the ceremony, HRH The Duke of Gloucester pointed out that Peterborough Cathedral had been through many changes over hundreds of years, in response to events such as the reformation, the civil war and the restoration of the monarchy, so it was only right that it adapted now to the changing needs of the fast-growing city of Peterborough.
After the service a reception was held in the cloisters, with catering provided by students from Peterborough Regional College, which was also visited by the Duke whilst he was in Peterborough.