22 April 2024

Summer events at Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral and the Close will be buzzing during the summer months with a busy programme of events.

These include outdoor film shows, music from Father Willis (the Cathedral’s famous organ) and the Swing Unlimited Big Band, plus trails and crafts for all the family to enjoy.

ORGAN PROM – 12th August

On Saturday, 12th August the Organ Prom returns with Director of Music David Halls and Assistant Director of Music John Challenger at the helm.

Enjoy popular classics ranging from the Dan Coates’s arrangement of the James Bond Medley to music fit for kings and queens, including William Walton’s Coronation March: Crown Imperial (played at George VI coronation in 1937), Elgar’s Nimrod (played before the Queen’s Coronation Service in 1953), Debbie Wiseman’s lovely Elizabeth Remembered (written to celebrate the Queen’s life) and Iain Farrington’s Voices of the World (written for King Charles’ Coronation on 6 May this year).

Dress up to promenade, enjoy a glass of Pimm’s in the Nave, explore the Cathedral building, see behind-the-scenes via the big screen organ loft relay and bask informally in the sounds of our famous Father Willis organ. Doors open at 18.30 for a 19.00 start.

Tickets £10 for adults, £5 for children available via the Cathedral website. Visitors with access requirements should contact the Cathedral box office to book by phone, email or in person from Monday – Friday between 09:30-16:00:


The following day (Sunday 13th August), dance and picnic to toe-tapping tunes from the Swing Unlimited Big Band on the Cathedral’s West Front. Bring your own food and drink or visit one of the Cathedral’s two eateries – The Bell Tower Tearooms and the Refectory restaurant.

Parking is available in the Close, and the music starts at 13.00.

ART AND CRAFT – Family activities in July and August

If you haven’t already visited the Cathedral’s 2023 art exhibition, To Be Free, there’s still plenty of opportunity.

The exhibition, which features internationally known artists Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare, Mona Hatoum and Ai Weiwei plus painter Lucy Jones’ large canvases and American Indian artist Jeffrey Gibson’s textile work They Want to Be Free 2021, is open until 17 September.

Running alongside the exhibition are a series of activities framed around the idea of freedom:

  • Free as A Bird clay craft sessions are an hour long and encourage those taking part to think about what freedom means to them and to create a clay model of hands holding their own
    unique symbol of freedom. Open to adults and children alike, there are five sessions a
    day, running hourly between 09.30 – 14.30 on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 August, and
    Tuesday 8 August and Wednesday 9 August.

Tickets £4 per person, book online via the Cathedral website.

  • The Childrens’ Trail this summer explores the idea of freedom through birds. Birds are free to fly where they wish and are often used by the Church to talk about peace, salvation and spirituality. Youngsters are encouraged to hunt out bird images in stone, textiles and in stained glass in the Cathedral – and to look for their wild counterparts outside in the Cathedral Close.

    The Childrens Trail is now available free with Cathedral admission until Sunday 17 September. Ask a Cathedral Guide for your copy when you enter the Cathedral.

OUTDOOR CINEMA 24th – 27th August

August is also a time to enjoy a heady blend of heritage, nature and cinema in the Cathedral Close. Four fantastic screenings across the Bank Holiday weekend. Better hurry to get your tickets – Top Gun and Dirty Dancing are already sold out, but there are still tickets available for Mamma Mia! At 20.45 on Saturday 26 August and a sing-along The Greatest Showman at 20.45 Sunday 27 August.

Tickets via the Adventure Cinema website: Tickets- Adult £15.50 + booking fee and Children £9.50 + booking fee


Finally, food for the mind. On Wednesday 9th August, at 19.15, Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE will join us at the Cathedral to discuss the legacy of Magna Carta. An academic lawyer, law reformer and judge, Lady Hale was the United Kingdom’s first female Law Lord.

In 2019 she made the headlines around the world with the ruling that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.

A pioneering reformer in the areas of domestic violence, divorce, mental health and equality, Lady Hale has always taken an interest in religion and the law having written and spoken on the subject many times. 

Tickets for The Legacy of Magna Carta: A Lecture by Baroness Hale can be purchased via the Cathedral website. Tickets are Adult £10, Students £5. Doors open at 19.00

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns