Thursday, 11 January 2007

Signing the Way

Here we go
Our smart new chapel information stands have arrived today, replacing the rather makeshift stands that looked as though they belonged in a hotel lobby. The heavy oak echoes other furniture in the Cathedral, and the design reflects its byzantine architecture.

The question of signage is an important one: I have in the past observed visitors' confusion as they entered the Cathedral for the first time. It is easy to assume that what is clear to us, as regular worshippers, is clear to those who enter as tourists, or casual visitors. We must enable them to understand what they are looking at, where to go, and where to find our principal locations. Above all, we must turn tourists into enquirers, and enquirers into worshippers. A Cathedral is a text-book of the faith, and we need to take care to open up the riches it represents to those who come here.

In addition, the new leaflet stands are in place at the back of the Cathedral, and I hope we can begin to make that important area less cluttered. These stands will display leaflets clearly, and remove the need for plastic stands (such as seen above, in bright orange, on the ledge) and piles of flyers. There is, in addition, a smart new stand for Oremus (the magnificent Cathedral magazine) to help display it more clearly.

We have more to come - boards showing Mass and Confession times, and boards for parish and diocesan notices. The impression that is created when a visitor first enters the Cathedral is very important, and I hope that these innovations will contribute to its sense of calm, while underlining the welcome we offer to all who come to this great house of prayer.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Father, its true that visitors need all this information and be able to find it easily and quickly. Familiarity sometimes blinds us to the confusion that others see where we only see order.

Kudos, Father for your great initiative and for thinking of the 'other'!

Several friends of mine will be traveling to London for the first time in 2 weeks and I'm sure they'll be totally at a loss. Hopefully, information will be as readily available elsewhere as in your magnificent Cathedral. Or else, they might be sleeping in one of the Underground stations!