Returning, We Hear The Larks

2-11 November 2018

Light Up Lancaster and Remembrance Week, Lancaster Priory

suffused with grief and yet holding all the promise or resurrection ... the impact was almost unbearably moving

On entering The Priory, visitors were given a red card, bearing the name of one of the 6,500 men from  the Kings Own Lancaster Regiment who were killed. Each cards was placed in the church, ‘spilling out like rivers all around The Priory’ as one visitor put it. A mound of red prayer kneelers and prayer books interlaced with 2,000 hand-made red paper roses was built in front of the altar. A film of the Regiment leaving Lancaster was layered with the two photos of the bell ringers and projected onto an empty chair. The sound of larks and distant church bells hung in the air. Women of the congregation played the part of women who have yearned for their lost loved ones. They adopted stilled gestures taken from a painting of the Last Supper in the Priory, then moved silently to gather at the altar. Meanwhile, the choir sang Rosenberg’s poem Returning, We Hear The Larks set to music by Don Gillthorpe, the Priory Director of Music. 

Photograph: Darren Andrews.

Performer: Ellen Wagstaff.