Show review and News Update December 2017 / by Salisbury Cathedral

Firstly, a big thank you to those of you who visited and exhibited at the Cathedral’s Contemporary Craft event in September. It was uplifting to see such a high standard of work on show in a building that is itself a work of art and to observe the collaboration, sharing and teaching that took place. 
We have now done all the final reckoning and the analysis of the feedback from visitors. It was a huge success in terms of people’s enjoyment and the inspiration they gained from the makers and sellers themselves. 83% of those who responded and rated the event said it was either good, very good or excellent which is great.

The vast majority of responses to our questionnaires talked of how inspiring the makers and demonstrations were and the high quality and range of crafts that were on offer. This is exactly the positive response we had hoped for and was our ultimate aim in hosting the event.

Feedback from exhibitors was also positive with some huge successes in terms of sales and, inevitably, a few cases where the show didn’t deliver quite what others had hoped. All the responses have been useful and will inform how we do events like this in the future.
The biggest change this year was the new location in the Cloisters, which was broadly welcomed by both visitors and makers although there were inevitably some comparisons with the previous incarnation on a larger plot outside on the lawns.  As I mentioned earlier we loved seeing so many people in the Cloisters and Cathedral and it is very much how we want to engage with our local community going forward, which leads me to next year...
In November 2018 the Christmas market will be moving, in part, into the Cathedral Close, which means that there should be plenty of opportunity for us to work with the Business Improvement District and craft community. We are incredibly excited about this new development and what it could mean both to the City and its makers.

However, 2018 is also going to be a very busy year for the Cathedral as we mark the end of the commemoration of World War 1, as well as host some large scale events and art exhibitions. So, regretfully, we have concluded that we simply don’t have the capacity to run a craft show in 2018.

It’s not a decision we have taken lightly but we are a relatively small team and have to recognise our limitations. Looking forward, we are talking to the Rotary about other potential collaborations in the meantime and there is every opportunity to think again for 2019. Naturally we will keep in touch with you about any future developments.
So from us all at the Cathedral, thank you again for your support - we wish you all the best in 2018! 

Sarah Rickett
Director of Education and Outreach
Salisbury Cathedral