St Anne’s Cathedral has a wealth of educational material within its walls. Schools and other organisations that may wish to create their own guided visit are welcome to do so.
The Cathedral has particularly good examples of the following:
- Varied, beautiful and significant stained-glass, especially of important figures from the Old Testament; windows themed to the work of the Holy Spirit and those depicting the fruits of the Spirit
- Fine needlework is to be found throughout the cathedral, both in its design and workmanship. Links to the Linen Industry include carvings in wood and stone, a display of linen produced in Belfast and communion linen.
- Arguably the finest Italian glass mosaics in the city. Four large panels are particularly spectacular featuring ‘Creation’, ‘The coming of St Patrick to Ireland’, ‘Heavenly Musicians’ and an amazing gold ceiling of the ‘Four Seraphim’
- The work of three sculptors in stone and bronze of national importance. Their work is varied, superb and warrants at least a two-hour visit to see and fully appreciate these things alone.
- Many plaques, pictures, flags and other objects relating to those who lost their lives or served in time of war, and especially the First World War.
- The architecture of the cathedral is spectacular and follows the pattern of many great European Churches, from its labyrinth to its high altar; its gorgeous baptistery to its souring height. Important historical figures are carved into its fabric and the four archangels look down from the corners of the nave, as in the great Romanesque Basilicas of the Christian Church.
- The story of Belfast can be taught from the Titanic Pall to the tomb of Lord Carson; from the pillar of ship-building to that of agriculture; from the seats reserved for the sovereign to those of the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and the Lord Mayor of Belfast.
- St Anne’s as a place of reconciliation may be high-lighted as we read the Prayer of St Francis in the Chapel of Unity and walk to the ambulatory to view the oldest object in the cathedral, namely, a Coventry Cathedral Cross of Nails, made from the Medieval nails of the original bombed Cathedral of Coventry and gifted to St Anne’s in 1958.
- The Cathedral Treasury holds an example of Maundy money, presented on the only occasion that the Queen has distributed these coins in Ireland. It also has links to the past history of the Cathedral, represented in gifts of silver communion vessels and other precious items. There are links to the Queen Alexandra Royal Nursing Corps and other organisations that have a spiritual home in St Anne’s.
- The cathedral has a child’s ‘search-for’ sheet, called the ‘Dove Trail’, which allows children to find their own way around St Anne’s looking for the images of the dove in wood and glass and stone and learning of its symbolism in Christian theology.