The Dean of Salisbury said, "We are proud to be playing a part in the life-saving vaccination campaign."
Just eight miles from Stonehenge rests the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral, built "to the glory of God" between 1220-1320. This "living church," home to Britain's tallest church spire and the best preserved of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, opened its doors on January 16 for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason? To temporarily transform their "medieval interior" into a vaccine center.
Salisbury Cathedral, long known for its "reputation for musical excellence," gave pensioners a little show as they waited. Thomas wrote, "The Cathedral’s organists, Director of Music David Halls and Assistant Director of Music John Challenger, played soothing sounds to those waiting for, or recovering from, their jabs and clocked up around ten hours on the keyboards (with a few essential breaks)."
"At times of crisis, people come together and want to listen to music; at moments of joy, people want to listen to music. And so I don’t think it’s any surprise the effect of soothing music on people who probably are feeling quite stressed for various reasons," Halls told The Associated Press. "If these stones could speak, they would talk about moments of incredible joy and moments of incredible sadness. It feels thoroughly appropriate that the cathedral is playing its part in trying to turn things around and to be part of the vaccinations ... To be part of that is such a privilege, such an honor."
They even took requests. The Associated Press also reported that "Halls played Handel’s 'Largo' and Bach’s 'Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring' for an 80-year-old neighbor who had sent an email asking for his favorites to be played precisely at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, just as the needle was going in. As Halls finished, he glanced at the screen that shows the organist what’s happening on the floor below and saw his neighbor frantically waving—windshield wiper style—and offering his thanks."
The cathedral is slated to host more vaccine days in the future. As Sylvia Parkin, who came to get the vaccine with her husband, David, told The Associated Press, “It’s a trip out today, isn’t it?″ she said cheerfully. ”It’s a wonderful place to have an injection.″
What do you think? How has music helped you through a stressful moment? Let us know in the comments.