In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie In Flanders  fields.

John McCrae (May 1915)


Clifton Cathedral Parish has commissioned a new wildflower garden to remember those who fought for peace in the Great War. During WW1 floral shrines were created in thousands of households in the absence of the bodies of their loved ones. Our new garden is our floral shrine to those who gave their lives. There is a monument to the fallen and the Cathedral garden was formally dedicated on Sunday 29th June 2015 the Patronal Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul.


BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE Plenary England and Wales Resolution

To mark the centenary of the First World War and remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict, the Bishops of England and Wales have encouraged the Catholic community to participate in local civic or ecumenical celebrations.  Bishop Declan will celebrate solemn Requiem Mass in the Cathedral on or near the key dates which have been identified as part of the anniversary celebrations:

  • 31 July 2017 – the start of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)
  • 11 November 2018 – Armistice Day


Our WW1 commemorations began on Friday 13 June 2014 with an exciting and haunting concert in the Cathedral. Attended by the Regional Chairman of the British Legion, the internationally acclaimed violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck and pianist Matthew Rickard presented a programme of music from the First World War including the UK Premiere of the Violin Sonata in G major (Gallipoli) of Frederick Septimus Kelly, a gifted composer, born in 1881 in Australia and educated at Eton College. His Sonata in G minor was composed in 1915 in Kelly’s tent at Gallipoli, hence the work’s appellation. It was complemented in this concert by Ivor Gurney’s passionately intense Sonata in E- flat major, Bristol-based composer John Pickard’s powerful and evocative Insomnia, and Vaughan Williams’s beautifully poetic The Lark Ascending, its performance marking the centenary of its composition inspired by the experience of walking out on the beautiful and wild North Kent coast.

Throughout the four years we have hosted a full programme of concerts, talks and social events to commemorate significant anniversaries.

Clifton Cathedral is a perfect venue for musical concerts. The Nave was designed to maximise the building’s natural acoustics, to create a compromise between the best possible acoustic qualities for both preaching and music. It relies on the natural acoustics and plywood tetrahedral panels in the ceiling for sound dispersion resulting in the most superb acoustic sound.

The Clifton International Festival of Music in June 2017 includes a concert "Into the Light" as part of the WW1 Commemorations

There are additional music and social events for subsequent years in the planning which will be publicised on our website WW1 page and in the printed programmes that will be available and distributed nearer the time.


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