Reaching New Heights – Futuristic Images of St Chad’s

For the first time in its history, a drone has been used to capture images and video footage of the amazing interior of Birmingham’s Catholic cathedral.

Canon Gerry Breen, cathedral Dean, is working with the Bishops’ Conference and CVS International to capture the stunning interior of the Metropolitan Cathedral & Basilica of St Chad.

The cathedral’s impressive height makes accessing its unique artworks and stained glass windows difficult. Instead of shelling out thousands for scaffolding and a professional photographer, it was agreed to try a drone.

In this experimental initiative James Berry, an AV specialist at CVS, used the drone to capture floor to ceiling images of the cathedral’s interior – including artwork, stained glass windows and the Stations of the Cross.

He was also able to capture images and moving footage of the design and architecture all around this magnificent building.

What has been captured will now help to develop a formal, visual catalogue of the cathedral’s make-up, as well as contribute towards a new set of guide books to highlight the significant stories the cathedral’s interior can tell.

Canon Breen said: “This has proved to be an exciting experiment and one which will visually capture the cathedral for posterity.

“By using such an innovative method we have saved money, and time. The drone is very useful for high level maintenance inspection and to allow us to capture a digital record of art and architecture in difficult to reach places.

“We are slowly building up a digital archive of the art and stencil work, particularly on the ceiling panels designed by Pugin, as we do not have a record of these. In the event of any loss it would be difficult to reproduce these works without a record.”

The drone also sparked interest amongst the cathedral’s visitors on Monday, with many taking the time to stop and watch its flight.


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