Moon bathing in Bath

Bath Abbey is going to have a festive attraction – in the days leading up to Christmas – that will rival any of the seasonal lights outside this historic church.

It’s hosting visual artist Luke Jerram’s sensational art installation the Museum of the Moon.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, Luke Jerram’s Moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally-lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

This is an artwork that has toured the world and will be in Bath from November 20th through to Christmas Eve.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Luke – via Zoom – in his Bristol studio and asked him what had been the inspiration behind this amazing work.

Below is the programme of events taking place while the Museum of the Moon is in place in Bath Abbey (20 November – 24 December).

The church will be hosting storytelling and craft for families, offering stargazing with the Bath Astronomers, holding an exhibition by local artist Stephen Magrath, concerts featuring the Bath Abbey Choirs as well as Christmas services, concerts and other events. All information and details of how to book tickets can be found on www.bathabbey.org

Families & Schools

Moon-tastic Family Days (Storytelling & Craft)
Tue 30 Nov, Sat 4 Dec & Sat 18 Dec, 10am-12.30pm
Ages 5 and over. Join us for some family fun including listening to magical stories while sitting under the Moon and making Cosmic Christmas decorations in our new Learning Room down in the Abbey vaults. Drop in. Free, no tickets required.

‘Cosmic Wonder’ Trail
Don’t forget to pick up our complimentary  ‘Cosmic Wonder’ trail from the Welcome Desk and explore the Abbey to find out more about both our amazing Moon and the wonderful birth of Jesus at Christmas.

Moonlight Lates
A unique opportunity to experience the magic of the moon after hours in the stunning Abbey. The accompanying soundtrack created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello winner Dan Jones can also be enjoyed during these magical evenings. Sunday and Monday evenings, 6pm – 9.30pm (check website for dates). Tickets for the evening: £6, Adult; £3 Child available from Eventbrite.

Stargazing with the Bath Astronomers
As part of our Moonlight Lates, you can interact with Bath Astronomers in the Abbey Nave and there will be a ticketed opportunity to climb our Tower for some moon and star gazing (weather dependent).
Stargazing Tour & Moonlight Late Combined Ticket: £21 Adults, £13 Child; available from Eventbrite

The Still Moon – Accessible Sessions
For those who find bright lights and noises distressing, visit the Moon between 9am and 10am on Tuesday mornings to experience the exhibition at a quiet time.

Artwork & Exhibitions

‘Into the Silent Land’ by Stephen Magrath
An exhibition of four pictures on the theme of circles and abstract space by Bath artist Stephen Magrath, resonating with Luke Jerram’s ‘Museum of the Moon’ while it is at Bath Abbey. Visitors are invited to be still and contemplate the inner nature of life and God.

Mindful Art Workshops led by Stephen Magrath
Mondays: 22 Nov, 29 Nov, 6 Dec, 13 Dec & 20 Dec, 4.15-5.15pm
Local artist, Stephen Magrath, will help participants create their own personal design inspired by the Abbey’s moon exhibition, sacred circle art and the artist’s own work. Age 8 upward. Tickets from Eventbrite: £3 (all materials included)

Choirs & Concerts

All Night Vigil – Sergei Rachmaninov
Tuesday 23 November, 8pm

This will be an evening to remember as the Abbey girls and Lay-clerks sing the atmospheric and uplifting music written for the Russian Orthodox liturgy by Sergei Rachmaninov. Rachmaninov’s masterpiece was written in 1915 and this rich and sonorous work is written entirely for unaccompanied chorus and sung in Church Slavonic. Performed under the Museum of the Moon, and combined with the Abbey’s beautiful acoustic, this will be a hypnotic and mesmerising experience – let your hearts be drawn to heaven with the rich sonorities of one of the greatest twentieth century composers.
Director: Huw Williams, The Abbey Girls and Lay-clerks.
Tickets cost £20, £15 and £10 and are available from Bath Box Office (16s and under half price).

Melody Makers: Mission to the Moon
Tue 30 Nov, 6.30pm

Performed by the Melody Makers; Directed by Shean Bowers
Enjoy an evening of moon-themed music sung by the Abbey’s youngest choir of 6-11 year olds. Accompanied by cello, trumpet and piano.
Tickets available from Eventbrite: £10 (16s and under £6)

Christmas 

Christmas is truly a wonderful time of year at Bath Abbey. There are a number of church services to choose from, with our worship this Christmas in our beautiful surroundings, under the magical light of the Moon. There will be Shoppers Carol services, concerts and Christmas services. More details can be found on www.bathabbey.org.