St John the Baptist Cathedral in Norwich will open its doors this weekend and next for the Heritage Open Days and will mark 100 years of service and sacrifice in times of war.

Entitled They Served, They Serve, the exhibition will feature the stories of both military and civilians from the ordinary ranks of society who served, and still serve, from 1914 to the present day.

From the soldiers who gave their lives for their country, to the Catholic chaplains who served and died alongside them giving spiritual comfort in the harshest of conditions, to those on the “Home Front” who worked tirelessly in the many war hospitals and refugee centres throughout East Anglia.

The exhibition features stories of heroism, stories of fortitude and the stories of some of those who would never see home again but are still remembered.

A special section on Catholic Chaplaincy in the Great War looks at the growing influence of Catholic Chaplains and their unstinting and unsparing service. Many received medals for bravery but many also made the supreme sacrifice and are honoured in a scroll of honour.

Organiser, Deacon Pat Limacher, himself a former military engineer, has invited a number of military veterans who will be present to tell their own stories.

There is also a moving display of hundreds of knitted poppies, falling from the sky, in the Memorial Chapel in the cathedral, produced by the knitting group at the Cathedral.

There will be a reconstruction of a war-time requiem Mass which took place in Fakenham, with details taken from the EDP of the time, right down to the same flowers that were used.

Thousands of visitors are expected and the usual behind-the-scenes and tower tours will also be taking place and refreshments will be available in the Narthex café.

Opening Times: September 7, 8, 14 and 15, 10am to 4pm.

Location: Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Unthank/Earlham Road, Norwich, NR2 2PA

No booking required, no entry fee.

Pictured above is the moving display of hundreds of knitted poppies, falling from the sky, in the Memorial Chapel in the St John’s Cathedral.