Timely banquet

20 September 2013

THE guests were piped through the darkened Newcastle Cathedral by a 16-year-old Northumbrian piper, Tristan Seldon, to their candlelit and decorated table in the nave. They were there for a medieval banquet, and the meal began with a 16th-century grace by Thomas Tallis.

The cathedral staff and volunteers, all in costume, served an "authentic" medieval menu, to be eaten using fingers, which included Cathedral Pottage, Vergers' Pickled Vegetables, and a variety of roasted meats. While the guests ate, they were entertained by the Northumbrian branch of the Clarsach Society, playing traditional Northumbrian airs, as well as more pipe music, and a mandolin. The clarsach, I am told, is a small Celtic harp; and the Northumbrian pipes, unlike Highland pipes, are a "sweetly toned bellows-blown set of bagpipes designed to be played indoors".

Among the diners were many who had never been inside the cathedral before, and they went away impressed by both the building and the hospitality.

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Book tickets

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)