Over 20,000 people took a journey to the moon and stars this October at St Albans Cathedral’s spectacular space themed son-et-lumiere, Space Voyage.

Produced by Artistic Collaboration Luxmuralis in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, the stunning installation saw the facade of the Cathedral transformed into a visual journey to the edge of the Milky Way and back. The longest nave in England became an ethereal galaxy as light and music filled the huge, ancient spaces.  And a special installation to commemorate the Moon Landing using NASA imagery of the lunar surface allowed people to walk on the moon and take their very own ‘One Small Step’.

The Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev’d Dr Jeffrey John, said, “Cathedrals were built to give people a sense of awe and transcendence. So the Cathedral is a perfect place for an installation like ‘Space Voyage’, which created such a vivid awareness of the mysterious vastness and overwhelming beauty of the universe. Even people who think they are not ‘religious’ have found that the experience has a powerful spiritual impact on them. We were delighted to welcome so many visitors throughout the week and hugely grateful to everyone involved.”

Luxmuralis Artistic Director Peter Walker commented, “It has been wonderful to see so many people of all ages come to see art in the Cathedral and embrace the journey to the edge of the universe and back. It has been especially moving to see people playing on the moon and staring back at the image of the earth revolving. Space Voyage is not just a light show, it’s an installation of son et lumiere outside, and multiple films, artworks, light and sound installations inside, that together create an abstract journey around the interior of St Albans Cathedral, reanimating vast areas of the magnificent architecture.”

As well as the Space Voyage son et lumiere, the Cathedral hosted a range of space themed events attended by over 3,000 people throughout the week.  Hundreds attended a special Mass on the Moon to launch the Space Voyage week and were invited to stand on the surface of the moon and receive Holy Communion, just as Buzz Aldrin did in the lunar module before taking those first, historic steps.

All ages enjoyed a cosmic organ recital ‘Play Among the Stars’ with music from famous sci-fi movies; Daleks invaded the Cathedral with a talk on Doctor Who; the learning team explored the themes of science and religion, and the search for habitable planets at a series of talks; and hundreds of children explored the Cathedral on a special space themed trail ‘To the Trinity and Beyond!’.

The reaction to St Albans Cathedral’s week in space has been overwhelming with hundreds of posts across social media channels and emails:

“What an amazing experience at St Albans Cathedral. I have never seen anything like it, the kids were in awe”

“It was a very inspiring event and such a creative way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landings. The whole family had a fantastic evening.”

The Cathedral would like to thank The National Lottery Heritage Fund along with sponsor partners Collinson Hall, Jarvis Charitable Trust, Matthew Homes, Selectaglaze, Stowe Family Law and Taylor Walton Solicitors for their support.

Photo: Emma Collins Photography