Cathedrals at Night | Secret Spaces

Discover Chichester’s ancient Cathedral by twilight, with a rare insight into secret spaces usually closed to the public.

Step into iconic moments of English history: the Roman market city of Chichester; King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries (1530s); the Civil War  and siege of Chichester (1642) and much more.

On top of the opportunity to explore the living church after hours, visitors will also be able to access:

  • The Cathedral Song School: Formerly the Chapter House, the Song School is now a space for the Cathedral Choir to sing and rehearse. Dive into the secret chamber within this fifteenth century space;
  • The Cathedral Library: Journey up 40 spiral stairs to view an early collection of books including an edition of Chaucer, and a book containing the signature of John Donne;
  • The Canon’s Vestry: Home to the intricate vestments worn by the Cathedral’s clergy. 

Throughout the evening the Cathedral’s Organist, Assistant Organist and Organ Scholar will also be playing the organ, which dates back to the seventeenth century and narrowly avoided destruction when the Spire collapsed in 1861.

The evening will finish with the ancient service of compline, also known as night prayer, which is the final service of the day and will be held in candlelight.

Planning your Visit

Cathedrals at Night is free of charge (donations are welcome), and booking is not required.

Our team of knowledgeable Guides will on hand in each space should you have any questions. Please note that many of these spaces can only be accessed through ancient stone staircases.

About Cathedrals at Night

Co-ordinated by the Association of English Cathedrals (AEC) Cathedrals at Night is a nationwide project that brings together Church of England cathedrals, around a single, simple campaign – opening Cathedral doors after hours to visitors.

It has been inspired by Les Nuits des Cathedrales, first launched in 2008, when participating European cathedrals open their doors after hours on the second Saturday in May to offer a cultural and spiritual experience for free.