The Cathedral Room, a special community space at Durham Station provided by Virgin Trains, is now officially open. Television presenter and architect George Clarke was in Durham last week to open the room alongside the dean of Durham Cathedral, the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, and the managing director of Virgin Trains on its east coast route, David Horne.
Also present were some of Durham Cathedral’s choristers, who enhanced the opening ceremony with song.
The Cathedral Room, which has fantastic views of the cathedral, can be booked free of charge for meetings or events. The room is decorated with artwork made by participants in Durham Cathedral’s Open Treasure Learning and Outreach Programme.
George Clarke said, “It is always a thrill to be back in Durham.”
“A childhood visit to the cathedral and its splendid architecture is what inspired me to become an architect.”
“I am delighted the cathedral and Virgin Trains are working together, creating this opportunity for community groups and small businesses.”
“The views of Durham Cathedral are spectacular from the train station and I am sure the room will become a well-used community asset.”
“The cathedral dominates the city’s skyline and I know it will continue to inspire generations to come.”
A short ceremony took place, during which the room was blessed. Also present were station manager Louise Rutherford, and representatives from the North East Chamber of Commerce, the County Durham Community Foundation, the Federation of Small Businesses and other organisations.
— David Horne (@DavidHorne) November 18, 2016
David Horne said, “We’re really pleased to continue working in partnership with Durham Cathedral, which we named a train after last year.”
“We’re committed to supporting the communities we serve across the UK, and are delighted to open our first ‘amazing community space’ in Durham Station. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the room in a variety of ways, in particular the schoolchildren who have created artwork inspired by carvings on the Anglo-Saxon coffin of St Cuthbert.”
The Cathedral Room currently has spaces for another four pieces of framed artwork. Durham Cathedral and Virgin Trains plan to fill them by running a competition open to young people aged 5-18. Submissions must be on a piece of A4 paper and the four winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from Durham Cathedral and Virgin Trains’ design team. An overall winner will be picked by George Clarke. Full details can be found at www.durhamcathedral.co.uk.
Mr Clarke also visited Durham Cathedral where he inspected the restoration work taking place on its Central Tower, viewed the famous Durham Cathedral in Lego model and saw the Open Treasure exhibition. Mr Clarke was a huge supporter of Durham Cathedral in Lego and helped to assemble the team of volunteers who made the project possible. Dean Andrew Tremlett said,
“The support of George, Virgin Trains and all our sponsors and visitors helps to ensure that Durham Cathedral will continue to be enjoyed by future generations, allowing them to experience the building as George first did as a child.”
The Cathedral Room is now available for community groups to book for small events and meetings. Those wishing to book the room should speak to staff at Durham Station.