Had two chilling experiences in Norwich Cathedral.
The first was while looking at The Skeleton. I knew it was there and I always make a point of going to see it.
I’ve never really taken much notice of what the inscription says, but I did this time. It sent a shiver down my spine:
All you that do this place pass bye
Remember death for you must dye.
As you are now even so was I
And as I am so shall you be.
Thomas Gooding here do staye
Wayting for God’s judgement daye.
The plaque commemorates Thomas Gooding who died about 400 years ago. I’ve no idea who he was and some sources suggest he’s actually buried there, standing up, ready to leap through the gates of Heaven when called. I can only presume that 400 years or so after his death he’s still waiting to get the nod.
On the other side of the Cathedral is a wonderful sculpture by Brazilian-born artist Ana Maria Pacheco. It’s one of three sculptures by Pacheco in Norwich currently.
The one in Norwich Cathedral “Shadows of the Wanderer – is a large polychromed wood sculpture on a wooden base. It comprises ten over life-size figures, each carved from a single lime tree, that crowd close together and stand as looming shadows behind a young man carrying an older man on his back.
“The group recalls the tale of Aeneas, who carries his father Anchises from the ruins of burning Troy, but it also powerfully resonates with contemporary issues, particularly those of exile, asylum, migration and the displacement of people.”
As you walk around the sculpture you suddenly become aware that one of the figures is watching you. Another chill rans down my spine, I felt as though I was being invited in to join them.
After seeing these two pieces it was good to find that the Refectory was serving up cups of sweet tea.