I was once asked to sum up Salisbury in as few words as possible. ‘Interesting rocks and a big pointy church!’ I replied.
Now, I often post about Stonehenge, the ‘interesting rocks’ … I work there as a volunteer one day a week … but the ‘big pointy church’, I’ve only seen from the outside, until recently.
I refer, of course, to Salisbury Cathedral, and the main offput was the ticket office inside the door, where they ‘requested a donation’. I just wish I had the cojones to emulate a certain rather stern lady I know, who fixed the ticket-wallah with a basilisk stare and:
‘I’ve never paid to enter the house of God in my life, and I’m not starting now!’
Yes, you have to admire the architecture inside, which is just as good as the exterior. But, looking at all the graves, memorials and laid-up regimental colours, it seems the place is more for the glory of past citizens of Salisbury and the area, and God comes a poor second.
The temporary centrepiece is the sculptures around the altar. Now, my idea of good sculpture is that I should be able to interpret it … not always accurately … without the aid of an ‘it says here’ leaflet. For a moment, I thought of chess pieces, then China’s Terracotta Warriors, then the planter in which one of my neighbours grows strawberries.
But, it says here that it’s ‘The Apostles Speaking in Tongues, Lit by Their Own Lamps’ by Nicholas Pope.
It doesn’t do it for me … but that’s just my opinion. Maybe you think differently?
(The sculptures will be there until 3rd August 2014)