Reputed birthplace of Wales’s patron saint in uplifting location.
St Davids has been described as a ‘thin place,’ a place where the distance between heaven and earth is thin as gossamer, a place where the prayers of thousands of pilgrims are tangible. Many find themselves touched by this deep spiritual atmosphere.
Our hope is that as we ‘Welcome Visitors as Pilgrims’ we will encourage everyone, of every faith and none, to ponder their own pilgrim journey through life, and perhaps feel inspired to take the next step onwards.
The Cathedral was granted a privilege from Pope Calixtus II stating that two pilgrimages to St Davids was equal to one to Rome, and that three were as significant as a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At this point in its history the Shrine dedicated to St David was installed. You can now visit this restored shrine with its icons depicting SS David, Patrick, Andrew, Non and Justinian.
Pilgrim prayers are offered here and the story of David retold. He is often remembered for teaching his followers, ‘Be joyful, keep the faith, and do the little things ...’ We aim to be joyful in expressing the good news of Jesus Christ; strive to keep the faith passed on through the centuries, in our daily prayer and worship. And we hope that in the little things we do here day by day we will love and honour St David’s God and ours.
There are many other things to see and ponder in our building which was begun between 1180 and 1182. It is the culmination of centuries of rebuilding and expansion, notably by Bishop Gower in the 14th century, and later, in the 19th century, by the renowned architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott. In the 20th century, St Mary's Hall was restored and in the 21st century the restoration of the cloisters. The cathedral has survived both the collapse of its tower and an earthquake in the 13th century, although today the floor slopes noticeably, the arcades veer from the vertical, and the east and west ends of the building differ in height by about four metres!
Has to be experienced to be believed!