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The simple title on screen. Could have been any artwork. But this one, this crucifixion, not by just any artist, but by Gunther von Hagen – the artist of death. I saw a few notices of the upcoming documentary, aired on Easter Day, that I watched earlier today, but less in terms of reviews afterwards. I sort of meant to look for reviews before watching it, but decided not to. I was intrigued. I’ve seen his work before. I’ve been to Bodyworlds. I would encourage people to go. I’ve read the info they give to anyone interested in donating themselves to their foundation, and I’ve seen how plastination works. And I have faith. I found Crucifixion a really moving programme. I saw a few “I’m a Christian, this is offensive” comments on the web when I looked afterwards, but I can’t agree


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David Garibaldi from Thriving Churches on Vimeo.

Genuinely inspiring. Needs to be watched carefully first time, because when you’ve seen the end, you look for it in the beginning…

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Been catching on a bit of iPlayer tonight when I got fed up of boxes (bad, I know, the boxes *must* be done, but still…)

I managed to get a sneaky peek this morning at the new Transfiguration window given to the cathedral by the Friends in memory of Michael Ramsey, to be dedicated after I’ve moved to Cambridge. We’ve been looking forward to the arrival of the window for over a year, and the drawings and early photos were very impressive. I am a bit of a nerd about stained glass windows, having done a special study in medieval art as an undergraduate. I can also make it myself – as long as there aren’t very many curvy bits, I’ve never had enough glass to waste to get very good at cutting curves! Unlike many things, modern stained glass attracts me as much as medieval (well, mostly – I love the Daily Bread window in the cathedral, but am not a fan of the Millenium one two up from the new Transfiguration). It’s been great to see some fantastic windows on recent trips to Paris and Washington DC in St Séverin and the National Cathedral.

St Séverin P1000049

Generally, I prefer the skill in the leading and the jigsawing of the pattern, but the Transfiguration is very carefully drawn by its designer, Tom Denny and is a painted window. It will forever change the light shed on the white screen behind the high altar. It was going to be such a beautiful thing to the glory of God. It still is, and yet this week as it was fitted, despite the modern world’s obsession with health and safety, tragedy has marked the window with the loss of its master craftsman. It made me think of all those men and boys who spent their entire life and career working on the cathedral, and how many casualties – simply as a standard employment risk – there were along the way. One hopes that Michael Lassen rests in peace and that his handiwork moves many pilgrims in the future to make his contribution to the cathedral priceless – though he paid the ultimate price himself.

On iPlayer? Climbing Great Buildings – Jonathan Foyle exploring the western tower, outer north wall and being precariously strung across the nave vaulting. He was hard hatted and wired up, but the transmission slot turned out to be a little inappropriate considering, but it was a poignant reminder as he talked about how the masons managed to build the cathedral at all as to how many injuries and how much blood has been spilt by the building itself. And then Newcastle on Film – with, amongst other gems – some stunning shots of the men working on the Tyne Bridge, much less than the 900 years ago of the cathedral builders, but with a singular lack of today’s health and safety observance!

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