St Philip’s to lead a trio of evening walks with historian Ben Waddington.
The three walks City Connections, Baskerville’s Sphere and Birmingham’s Civic Gospel will consider the links Birmingham Cathedral has with rest of the city.
City Connections - Over the centuries, the cathedral has been furnished with a rich array of skilfully designed and crafted objects and features. Great prestige came for the artisan whose work had been noticed and who was then commissioned to create work for the cathedral. For this walk, Ben Waddington will make links between a selection of features in the cathedral and their metropolitan counterpoints. The walk begins in the cathedral with a brief introduction to the objects and their creators and then explores the city centre, in search of further instances and echoes of these artists’ work. This will variously be architecture, lettering, glass and sculpture. The cathedral thus acts as a lens, projecting the treasures of its interior into the city surrounding it.
The walk will last approximately 90 minutes and cover around two miles. Suitable footwear is advised.
Baskerville’s Sphere - John Baskerville made his fortune from his Japanning business, but is best known today for the typeface that bears his name. Baskerville also excelled at printing, paper and ink manufacture, and perhaps best represents the centuries-old Birmingham paradigm of Arts in Industry. As a successful businessman and respected city elder, his advice and opinion was sought by the early industrialists Matthew Boulton and James Watt and later members the Lunar Society. And despite his atheism, Baskerville also had a significant role in the management of the Cathedral.
Ben Waddington leads this 90 minute walking tour of Baskerville related locations around the city and introduces you to his wider social sphere - and indeed his sphere of influence as it is felt today. The walk will cover around two miles and suitable footwear is advised.
Birmingham’s Civic Gospel - ‘Civic Gospel’ was an ideology appearing in Victorian Birmingham, originating with the Non-conformist preacher and municipal activist George Dawson. Dawson described the town as ‘a solemn organism through which shall flow, and in which shall be shaped, all the highest, loftiest and truest ends of man's moral nature’. To this end, Birmingham was transformed from a lowly industrial town to one with a progressive, enlightened and efficient local government.
On this 90 minute walking tour of the city, Ben Waddington visits elements of Civic Gospel’s past and looks at how citizenship can be interpreted in regard to local government, architecture, and particularly the use of Civic spaces. Can Civic Gospel still be felt today? The walk will cover around two miles and suitable footwear is advised.
In 1715, the church of St Philips was consecrated. This year we celebrate our tercentenary with a range of heritage, arts, pilgrimages and special events.
Jane McArdle Heritage Officer at Birmingham Cathedral said:
These walks will help people discover parts of this wonderful city that they may not know existed. City Connections Walk will consider the links that artists and makers who has worked on the cathedral have with other parts of the city. We will go past the birth site of Edward Burne-Jones. Baskerville’s Sphere will discover this important Birmingham figure and his social circle and the final walk will explore the influence of the Civic Gospel on the city.
Places can be reserved at birminghamcathedral.com and cost £7 per person. Anyone interested in lending their support to the cathedral’s heritage programme should contact Jane McArdle by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org