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 has celebrated solemn Requiem Mass in the Cathedral on or near key dates which have been identified as part of the anniversary celebrations, and will do so again to mark Armistace Day: 11 November 2018


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..

On Friday 18th November 2016, the Cathedral hosted a screening of the 1916 documentary film depicting the early days of the Battle of the Somme, accompanied by a new musical score by Laura Rossi performed live by the Bristol Symphony Orchestra. The concert was well attended and those who came found it a very moving experience.

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