Salisbury Cathedral is currently serving as a Covid-19 vaccination site in the United Kingdom. The soaring medieval architecture provides a vast, airy space for health care providers and British citizens getting vaccinated.
According to The New York Times, “patients have been getting the vaccine at Salisbury Cathedral since Jan. 16, and it hosts the inoculation sessions twice a week for around 1,200 people a day. Sessions last about 12 hours, and, for most of that time, David Halls and John Challenger, the cathedral’s organists, provide a musical backing, ranging from well-known hymns to fairground tunes and euphoric classical works. That makes the cathedral one of the few places in the country one can hear live music right now.”
Organists have been playing various pieces, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and other early modern musical works.
The religious architecture of the Salisbury Cathedral is an important example in England of thirteenth-century gothic style. The cathedral holds one of four surviving copies of the Magna Carta and a fourteenth-century mechanical clock.
What a fascinating mixture of medieval religious architecture, early modern music, and contemporary medicine!
The New York Times reports on the organ recitals and Covid-19 vaccinations at Salisbury Cathedral.
The Salisbury Cathedral website provides information on the history of the cathedral building and its collections.