‘Goodbye to Canterbury Cathedral’ in which Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams looks at the Cathedral- Last opportunity to download

Today is the last chance to download from BBC iPlayer the programme ‘Goodbye to Canterbury’ in which Archbishop[ Rowan Williams reflects on his own ministry and on the structure, the stained glass, tombs and treasures of the Canterbury Cathedral as well as its importance to faith down through the ages, before and after the Reformation. He looks at the extraordinary illustrations of the Book of the Gospels brought by St Augustine in 597 from Rome, the tomb of Cardinal Henry Morton, Archbishop in the reign of Henry VII, close up at the magnificent stained glass created by the ‘Methuselah Master’, and at hidden storerooms and corners- where some of the “cracks in the medieval vision of harmony” are to be found. A thoughtful and moving commentary, in which the former Archbishop looks favourably at the medieval vision of the Cathedral and ruefully upon the damage done to the fabric over the centuries by reforming minds, while respecting the changing vision of different generations. “Our ancestors went out of their way to create a space”  for the big issues says Williams, gently inviting the viewer to ponder the message that the building contains. Commenting on the fact that in WWII the local people worked in shifts to remove the incendiary bombs from the roof of the Cathedral when Canterbury was blitzed, he added “They were probably not all enthusiasts for Gothic architecture”. The programme ends with Dr Williams looking at the life of St Thomas Becket, partly at the now lost tomb and history of the shrine, but mainly at the martyrdom as a measure for our faith and for humble perspective his own ministry.


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