The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas in Newcastle launched the next stage in its ambitious £2.1m refurbishment programme with a service on the evening of Saturday February 2.
Civic dignitaries and senior church figures were among those attending the 6pm service which celebrated the completion of work on the new sound and lighting system.
The service was held on Candlemass Day, the Christian festival of light. The festival commemorates the presentation of Jesus to God in the Temple, forty days after his birth. Candlemass also signifies the midpoint of winter and is celebrated in Churches across the country.
The Very Revd Christopher Dalliston, Dean of Newcastle said: “The service marked the completion of phase one of work at the Cathedral to bring it up-to-date with the needs of a worshipping community in the 21st century and to look towards the next phase, which will include new flooring, heating, seating, toilets and the refurbishment of St Margaret’s Chapel.”
The Cathedral houses one of the finest collections of civic memorials in the country, mostly dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Details of Phase II and how to donations can be made to support it are available through the Trust Offices - Pauline.Jones@stnicholascathedral.co.uk
Dean Christopher also said: “The new lighting scheme is designed to highlight the architecture of this magnificent medieval building and to enable its fine details to be readily seen. It is the first such scheme in the country to use only low energy LED lighting thus reducing energy costs and carbon footprint by up to 80%. The new lighting which is organised in zones can be programmed to give different lighting schemes dependant upon the time of day, the type of service or the mood we wish to create all controlled by an iPAD APP. The use of LED lighting means that we won't have to touch any of the lighting for at least 20 years.”
The Right Revd Martin Wharton, Bishop of Newcastle who preached a sermon at the service reflected the significance of the lighting dedication to Candlemass the light of God’s glory that was manifested in Jesus and on this day of hope and light.
Those also present at the Service included: The Appeal Chairman is The Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington KStJ QPM DL FRSA, Nigel Sherlock Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear, Councillor Jackie Slesenger, The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Harriet Benson High Sheriff of Northumberland plus clergy from Newcastle and Durham Dioceses, invited guests and members of the general public.