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Night Cathedral for University Students and Staff (posted 16 February 2017)

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University Students enjoy a night at the Cathedral..

Night Cathedral
Night Cathedral

During the evening of Wednesday 15th February, University of Chichester students and staff enjoyed the unique experience of having exclusive access to the Cathedral after dark. The University Chaplaincy and Chichester Cathedral worked together to open up at night for the first time. In an atmospherically-lit Cathedral, there were performances and art displays by University staff and students. The performances throughout the evening included dance, music and poetry readings.

The evening began with the University's Chamber Choir, led by Arthur Robson, performing a beautiful selection of songs from (amongst others) Tallis, Palestrina and Mundy. This was followed by a performance from mapdance - the University's MA dance company. Reformed each year with a new group of postgraduate students, the company tours nationally and internationally between February and June. For this special evening, mapdance performed the premier of Dance Beneath by the renowned choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, directed by Yael Flexer and Detta Howe.

Stephanie Norgate, Senior Lecturer and published poet and playwright, led the Poetry Reading in the Presbytery, with her own works, followed by four other poets with a wonderfully diverse selection of poetry - from poems by Iraqi writers read by Dr Waleed Al Bazoon, to a contemplation of 'Chagall's Windows' by Denise Woodhouse.  The majestic surroundings of the Cathedral nave provided the location for a selection of jazz music, performed by Stephen Roberts on the saxophone and Nick Reynolds on the piano. Those attending were treated to traditional folk songs including The Water is Wide - a Scottish Folk Song and the Pange Lingua Blues.

Throughout the evening University staff and students were also able to take a close look at the extraordinary glass and light sculpture 'Connection' by the artist Galia Amsel, which is suspended over the font (until 21st February). They were also invited to walk and explore the Chichester Cathedral Labyrinth - a temporary installation in the North Transept. A labyrinth is an ancient symbol which consists of a single path leading into the centre and out again, encouraging us to still the mind, open the heart, and enter into a spiritual journey. This special evening was drawn to a close with Compline, a service of evening prayers, sung by The Chamber Choir in the beautiful surroundings of the Lady Chapel.

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