September 12, 2019

A CHANCE TO MEET TODAY’S WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL SCRIBES Meet the Scribes – Saturday 21 September 2019, Undercroft, Inner Close 10am to 4pm.

In the same year that Winchester Cathedral has opened its new exhibition, Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation, part of which celebrates a thousand years of calligraphy at the Cathedral since monastic times, today’s Scribes celebrate 30 years as a group with a special open day. As well as meeting them, finding out more about what they do and how they carry on such a long history of calligraphy at the Cathedral, visitors will be able to try their hand at calligraphy themselves, including using a quill. There will be family activities for the younger ones and the event is free to attend as part of Heritage Open Days 2019.

The Winchester Cathedral Scribes have been in existence since 1989. “The group is unique amongst British cathedrals in its size and output,” says Phillip Johnson, their current leader said. “There are 20 part-time calligraphers and artists with varying skills..” Their output is in the form of prayer cards, information cards, greeting cards and bookmarks, for sale on the Scribes’ desk within the Cathedral. They also provide a service for the Cathedral in the form of notices, certificates and for recording names in Memorial books in the Cathedral and diocese. A while-you-wait calligraphy service is offered for simple items such as names on bookmarks or brief quotations messages.

To enhance the skills of the scribes, all-day workshops are arranged, led by some of the county’s leading professional calligraphers and, in addition to this special event, some of these days are open to the general public.

The scribes welcome anyone with an interest in calligraphy and illumination who is willing to commit to activities on a regular and voluntary basis. To find out more, please email the Cathedral’s Volunteer Co-ordinator,

The event is also part of Heritage Open Days, as is the Open Evening on Thursday 19 September, where the Scribes will also be in attendance.