Take a journey to the moon and stars this autumn with a spectacular space themed son-et-lumiere at St Albans Cathedral in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing.

This October visitors to St Albans Cathedral will have the chance to travel out of this world, walk amongst the stars and take ‘one small step’ on the moon. St Albans Cathedral Space Voyage takes place from 28 October to 1 November and will illuminate both the exterior and interior of the Cathedral, immersing visitors of all ages in a dramatic experience of cosmic light and sound. 

Produced by Artistic Collaboration Luxmuralis, the stunning installation sees the facade of the Cathedral transformed into a visual journey to the edge of the Milky Way and back. The longest nave in England will become an ethereal galaxy as light and music fill the huge, ancient spaces.  And a special installation to commemorate the Moon Landing uses NASA imagery of the lunar surface allowing people to walk on the moon and take their very own ‘One Small Step’.

The Dean of St Albans Cathedral, the Very Rev’d Dr Jeffrey John, said, “Cathedrals specialise in awe and transcendence. They were built to remind us that we are small and finite in the universe, yet surrounded by the incomprehensible grandeur of creation. A Cathedral is just the place to contemplate the mysteries of space and the place of human beings within it. This is a spectacular, unmissable experience which will dazzle your eyes and expand your horizons to infinity. Highly recommended for earthlings of every age.”

Luxmuralis Artistic Director Peter Walker commented, “Art has for millennia been at the centre of humanity’s journey, to live and learn and express. That is still the case today, where art allows us to explore and discuss and imagine in new ways. Space Voyage will do just that - a combination of sound and light and artwork that will transform the remarkable infrastructure of St Albans Cathedral in a way that has never been done before, as we take visitors on a journey to the edge of the universe and back.”

The installation forms the centre piece of a wider Space themed events programme at the Cathedral throughout October and November, including talks, music and children’s space themed trails.

Tickets go on sale 1 August at www.stalbanscathedral.org

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About the Artistic Team and Production
  • Artist Peter Walker and Composer David Harper are an Artistic collaboration called Luxmuralis.
  • Through Son-et-Lumiere, sculpture and sound art pieces they transform and reinterpret the sense of place and space creatively helping members of the public to take a physical and emotional journey to identify with the subject and message of the artwork.
  • The Artwork explores the sense of wonder and exploration. Genesis 15:5 : ‘And the LORD brought Abraham outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be.’
  • The Apollo Moon Landing marked the first occasion on which a Christian took the sacrament of Communion on an astronomical body other than Earth. This event took place in the interval between the lunar module’s landing on the moon on 20 July 1969 and Neil Armstrong’s taking his first steps on the lunar surface several hours later; during that period, astronaut Buzz Aldrin privately observed Communion using elements he had brought with him to the moon.
  • St Albans Cathedral Space Voyage includes the artwork installation ‘One Small Step’ created by Peter Walker in recognition of 50 years since the moon landing. Using NASA imagery of the lunar surface ‘One Small Step’ brings people together in public celebration and reflection, allowing everyone to contemplate on the future and how individually we may take ‘One Small Step’ taking our own personal journeys forward.
  • Space Voyage follows on from the huge success of last year’s Poppy Fields installation by Luxmuralis at St Albans Cathedral, in recognition of 100 years since the Armistice. The installation artwork transformed the sacred space of the Cathedral with sound and light artworks, sculpture and poetry, engaging with members of the public who may have never visited such sacred space before. In Poppy Fields, giant poppies were projected onto the Nave of the Cathedral with visitors invited to walk through the poppies and be immersed in the light and sound, poetry read by Eddie Redmayne OBE. St Albans attracted 10,000 attendees over two evenings.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @pwalkersculptor  @Luxmuralis   You Tube: Peter Walker Sculptor  Luxmuralis
St Albans Cathedral
  • St Albans Cathedral is the number one tourist destination in St Albans and attracts approximately 200,000 visitors per year from the UK and abroad. It hosts hundreds of events and services throughout the year.
  • The Cathedral is built on the site of the martyrdom of Alban, Britain’s first saint. St Alban was an anglo-romano citizen who was executed around 300 AD.
  • It is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain
  • It houses the Shrines of St Alban and St Amphibalus, and is a major site of Christian worship to this day.
  • The Cathedral architecture is a blend of many different periods, with Anglo-Saxon features dating back to King Offa’s church, founded on the site in 793. Work started on the current church building in 1077; it was the largest building in the country at the time. Its great Norman tower and nave were built using Roman bricks salvaged from the ruins of Verulamium. The Benedictine monastery was dissolved in 1539 and the Abbey church was bought by the townspeople to become the parish church, which it remains today. The Victorians undertook a major restoration and it became a cathedral in 1877.
  • St Albans Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of St Albans which serves the people of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, the Borough of Luton and parts of the London Borough of Barnet, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.
Alban, Britain’s First Saint - Heritage Lottery Funded Project
  • This significant development project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund with match funding from over a thousand individuals and organisations.
  • In June 2019, the Cathedral opened a new Welcome Centre, new learning spaces for children and adults, and new exhibition areas.
  • The visitor experience at the Cathedral has been transformed bringing the story of Britain’s first saint, Alban, to life through new displays, trails, stunning audiovisuals and artefacts. Children can also enjoy a host of new activities, including brass rubbing, dressing up and explorer backpacks.
  • The project continues with events and activities to attract new audiences, and in autumn 2019 the illumination of the Cathedral’s rare collection of medieval wall paintings.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.HeritageFund.org.uk.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Photograph courtesy of Luxmuralis, taken at Lichfield Cathedral.