chapter  1
Exordium
Pages 12

Within the high, buttressed walls of the medieval fortified monastery of SS Quattro Coronati in Rome there is a small chapel, Capella di San Silvestro, modest but for its lavish frescoed cartoon of the Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity. It explores the notion that Durham Cathedral has something special and vital to offer people today, partly through participant observation, by visiting the cathedral to experience its atmosphere, and partly through the act of writing an ekphrasis. However to describe the dimensionalities, it is clear that shoring up sacred architecture as cultural heritage closes off its hypaethral quality, the very quality that would offer a true escape from the here and now. And just as the rewilding began for Monbiot in the very summoning of his thoughts on paper, so it has begun for me, in the possibilities conjured and considered in this text.