Tag Archives: Salisbury Cathedral UK

In praise of sacred spaces: Salisbury Cathedral, UK

Followers of this blog will have noticed that I have been conspicuous by my absence in recent weeks. Most bloggers, especially those like me who have been keeping noses to the blogging grindstone for a number of years, feel the need for a break now and then, no matter how much fun it all is. Sitting staring cross-eyed at a visually attractive wall, hand clutching a cup of tea, is a great way of chilling out and revitalising, I find. Throwing in a little therapeutic travel also helps!

So, after a week of travel therapy, I am now home. Our last port of call was the historic English market town of Salisbury. Much though we loved Salisbury, its world-famous cathedral, unsurprisingly, was the highlight: awesome, in the pre-social media sense of the word. I was especially moved by the Trinity Chapel and its magnificent Prisoners of Conscience window.

Prisoners of Conscience window

Prisoners of Conscience window

photo: Anne Whitaker

And – I found the statue of the Black Madonna.

(mentioned by Jamie in my April 10 reblog from her site..) 

Black Madonna, Salisbury UK

Black Madonna, Salisbury UK

photo: Anne Whitaker

Here is Jamie, from that excellent blog Sophia’s Children, on the topic of the black madonna archetype...”….But the real surprise, as I wandered through the beautiful cathedral was coming upon a chapel dedicated to prayer for ‘prisoners of conscience’, which featured a stunning stained glass window.

Looking over this chapel, dedicated to mindfulness of and prayer for those who are being held prisoner throughout the world, was a dark madonna.

For any who know the archetype of the dark or black madonna, and the many things She symbolizes, you will know that there is no more appropriate place for Her than this space dedicated to those who have been forgotten, who are being held captive, who are being treated cruelly…”

Given the awful atrocities we read about daily which are being perpetrated all over our world more than ever, we need powerful symbolism to remind us how far we still have to evolve as a species in order to become civilised…

We also took some time to wander through the cloisters and the extensive grounds around the cathedral, soaking up the atmosphere. Salisbury Cathedral is visually stunning, not least because of its magnificent spire. I hope you enjoy this unusual view!

Salisbury Cathedral Spire

Salisbury Cathedral Spire

Photo: Anne Whitaker

 One of the surprises of our visit was this: despite the constant traffic of noisy schoolchildren, mingling with tourists of all races, colours and creeds, it was possible to find contemplative spaces. For me, sitting quietly in Trinity Chapel, contemplating the beauty of its magnificent window which offered such a powerful, poignant message, was something I treasure and will not easily forget.

Where would we be, believers or not, without the power, grace and inspirational quality of those spectacular mediaeval monuments?

******

450 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page