Religion Sometimes, even cathedrals can offer surprises, especially cathedrals which have been a really important part of your life. I’ve spent another wonderful day at Liverpool Biennial – I’ll bore you with the highlights in coming days – but nothing quite prepared me for what was happening at Liverpool Cathedral which I visited this morning on the hunt for the Tony Cragg pieces. Reader, I gaped.
The banks of chairs which usually fill the main space have been replaced with round banqueting tables and the cathedral is being used as a massive function room for the Baccalaureate dinner tonight. The cathedral is apparently readily available for hire at a cost of ten to fifteen thousand pounds, helping to pay for free entry, and yes, an organisation is able to sip soup in the shadow of the alter.
Enthusing about the sight with a very patient rector who was kind enough to take me up to the balcony so that I could take some photographs at a better angle, I realised that given that we’re currently in the Biennial period, if he’d told me it was an installation rather than someone’s supper I would have been equally convinced, a comment on the commercialisation of religion perhaps.
Such events happen regularly enough that a giant lift pops up through the floor near the shop. Bordering on the agnostic, yet stilled awed by these giant edifices I luxuriated in the incongruity of one of my favourite spaces being repurposed in this way. But I could imagine someone with much stronger beliefs being horrified even considering the charitably benefits. I’ve uploaded a few more photographs to flickr so that you can make your own mind.