Adam Fitts | Reporter
I was invited to the Art Club’s London trip this year as part of ECC English instructor Leigh Kolb’s mass media group. I wasn’t entirely sure about it, but after being reminded of my sister’s adventures in London, I decided to go.
As a group, we went to the Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery, saw “Wicked,” and even took a day trip to Canterbury.
It was while we were in Canterbury that I did a lot of exploring, but it was the cathedral there that was the highlight of the day trip.
The Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in England and the first massive cathedral I’ve ever been in, and the amount of time and dedication to keeping the structure from wearing away must have taken a lot out of people.
Inside the cathedral was a display called “Suspended” by Arabella Dorman, created by using the discarded clothes of refugees. Dorman is a war painter whose art “explores the realities of conflict today,” and her art comes from a decade of working together with British forces and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The architecture of the cathedral is amazing, featuring wall memorials with extreme detail. The downstairs crypt was quiet and tranquil, lit by candlelight. There were a few rooms on the side for what could have been used for prayer and confession. Outside of the big meeting areas were some smaller memorials for the various saints, showing above them the things they did during their lives.
There was an area in the far back of the cathedral meant for prayer and a similar area in the crypt. Since cameras weren’t allowed in the crypt, I felt compelled to stop. While there was a book for visitors to write their names in and candles for visitors to light, I didn’t do either. Instead, I said a silent prayer and moved on.
The best part of the whole trip was learning and seeing history through architecture. It was a very amazing experience to be inside a cathedral that withstood many wars. I felt like I was traveling through time as I experienced such a vast dedication for religion. The stained-glass windows, the writing on the walls and the rooms dedicated to saints preserve their memories for later generations.
Having never explored such a massive cathedral before or such architecture, I can gain a sense of how long it took to build it. These massive buildings can take so long to build that the designer doesn’t live long enough to see it completed. I am grateful that the time and effort taken to build this cathedral has kept it standing for so many years.