Guest Post: Clare Goddard on twilight tours at Norwich’s Cathedral of St John the Baptist

Today’s guest post comes from Clare Goddard from the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich.

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I often think that my job must be one of the most interesting in Norwich. No two days are ever alike and working in an historical building brings both challenges and joys!

One of the joys is participating in events such as the Museums at Night initiative where we open our tower to the public.

Standing at the door to a dark and draughty stair well, with 227 steep stone steps winding upwards in front of you, you could be forgiven for wondering if it was really going to be worth the effort and stress, but the stunning views afforded at the end of your climb makes the twilight tower tour one of the highlights in our events calendar!

View from the tower at twilight

View from the Tower at Twilight (c) Philip Rochford

Sited in the heart of Norwich, the Cathedral of St John the Baptist boasts a 360 degree view of the city, its medieval and Victorian street pattern clearly seen from above.  The Museums at Night Twilight Tower Tour in May allows people the chance to see Norwich from a new perspective, with the sun setting over this historic city.

It also serves as an introduction to the Cathedral for people who might not normally visit us. The evening also usually ends with a beer or a hot chocolate in our refectory which stays open for the event.

A photograph of a cathedral

St John the Baptist Cathedral (c) Richard Wells

The Museums at Night event at the Narthex (our visitor centre at the cathedral) is organised in conjunction with HEART ( Norwich’s Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust) and with the staff and clergy and the many dedicated volunteers working at St John’s – especially our Tower Tour Guides.

Organising an event in a busy cathedral raises particular challenges, not least balancing its essential remit as a sacred religious building with the architectural, heritage and cultural interests of the site. However, the secular and spiritual do go hand in hand – or in this case – step by step!

Despite the extra work that it entails, it is always worth participating as positive visitor feedback makes it all worthwhile and helps to put us more firmly on the map.

A picture of a lady with a book

Clare Goddard is the Manager of The Narthex at The Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich.  www.sjbcathedral.org.uk

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Thank you very much Clare! If you’d like to write a guest post or case study for this blog about any aspect of event planning or marketing in arts or heritage venues, please drop me a line at rosie@culture24.org.uk or call me on 01273 623336.

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