'Christians, awake, salute the happy morn'

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist.

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the mist - Credit: © Terry Harris

"Christians, awake, salute the happy morn, whereon the Saviour of the world was born”, the words of John Byrom resonate today above all days.  

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist,
Cathedral, Ely
Sunday 28 Febru

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 February 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

And they were the words chosen by Ely Cathedral to share Christmas blessings.  

“Rise to adore the mystery of love, which hosts of angels chanted from above: 
with them the joyful tidings first begun of God incarnate and the virgin's Son.” 

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist,
Cathedral, Ely
Sunday 28 Febru

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 February 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

It has been the second challenging year for Christmas for our ship of the fens as it has been forced, once again, to cancel concerts and re-introduce social distancing for those services that are able to go ahead.  

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 Februar

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 February 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

But one of the highlights, for us, of 2021 was to share these incredible photos of swirling mists gently lifting to unveil the cathedral in all its splendid glory.  

Not for amateur and professional lensmen the 288 spiral stairs the need to climb to the top of the west tower. 

Or for that matter the 172 steps inside the lantern. 

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 Februar

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 February 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Modern technology allows drone photography to capture the majesty and awe of daylight breaking over the Ship of the Fens.  

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 Februar

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 February 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

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The dean, the Very Rev Mark Bonner, appreciates the anxiety of parishioners and visitors alike for business as usual to return.  

As he told us earlier in the year: “We appreciate that for many, this extended and more severe period of lockdown, must be very challenging and disheartening,” he says. 

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 Februar

Ely Cathedral - Ship of the Fens rises majestically above the Mist, Cathedral, Ely Sunday 28 February 2021. Picture by Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

But a new dawn is dawning - there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.