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A fascination

Interior view of Glasgow Cathedral

An interior view of Glasgow Cathedral

This happens to be the interior of Glasgow Cathedral. It could be any but this just happened to be my most recent photograph of a cathedral. So what’s the fascination?

I’ve not been much of a cathedral visitor until I moved to Oxfordshire from the Scottish Borders and it’s noticeable that there are many more cathedrals easily accessible from where I now live; Winchester, Salisbury and Wells to name but three within an easy day’s journey.

There’s one particular thing I find fascinating every time I visit a Cathedral and it’s something that first struck me when visiting Durham Cathedral (more of an easy day’s journey from the Scottish Borders than Oxfordshire!).

It’s not the majestic nature of the architecture nor is it the sense of peace and sanctuary. What strikes me again and again is the sheer size and scale of these buildings created from huge blocks of stone, reaching high above the ground and built in times without our modern techniques. But that’s not the real thing that amazes me. It’s the time it took to build them and that someone had the vision and imagination to begin a project that would almost certainly not be completed in their own lifetime. That’s the amazing, awe-inspiring feeling I have every time I visit a huge cathedral.

What makes it so amazing is I often feel that today, despite our technological advancement, we have lost something of the capacity to have a long-term vision of starting something we won’t see completed. The very idea of this seems to be at odds with our contemporary consumer culture. And I find that rather sad.