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Identification rings for cathedral's peregrine chicks

The three chicks - Pip, Peter and Paula - hatched on 18 May Credit: Salisbury Cathedral/Ash Mills

The first peregrine chicks born at Salisbury Cathedral in 61 years are now three weeks old and were recently ringed with a unique colour-ring and identification number by Ed Drewitt, well known ornithologist and wildlife presenter.

The process took 5-7 minutes for each of the three chicks. Pip, Peter and Paula were weighed, measured and ringed and the information will be passed onto the British Trust for Ornithology.

The chicks were removed from the nest on the south balcony at the top of the cathedral tower and taken inside the tower for the process. A human ‘spotter’ remained out on the balcony to prevent the parent birds from returning to an empty nest.

New editions at Salisbury Cathedral

For the first time in sixty one years - Salisbury Cathedral has had Peregrine chicks hatch. Three have arrived in a nesting box on the Spire. The birds have long been nesting there but, before now, now chicks have hatched.

Peregrine chicks hatch at Salisbury Cathedral Credit: ITV Meridian

Clerk of Works Gary Price said "It's amazingly exciting news that after 61 years we have three live baby peregrine chicks. Mother and chicks are doing well and were today visited by the RSPB who checked that the chicks are all healthy and that Mum's feeding them OK."

The chicks will be ringed by the RSPB when they are three weeks old and 3-4 weeks after that they will fledge and start to fly off the tower.

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Stone sculptures on display at Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury cathedral is a place of peace and spiritually - and that's why it was chosen as the perfect location for a new art installation called 'Sanctuary'. It is a series of stones that have been placed inside and outside the cathedral.

Local artist John Maine hopes his exhibition of rocks, some of which can be touched, sat on and even climbed on, will help visitors feel a sense of calm. Martin Dowse went to find out more.

New exhibition opens at Salisbury Cathedral

The John Maine Sanctuary exhibition opens at Salisbury Cathedral Credit: Salisbury Cathedral

We're about to get a sneak preview of a new exhibition opening at Salisbury Cathedral. A number of stone installations will stand on the close with other granite carvings in the cloisters all by the sculptor John Maine. It will be open to everyone from Saturday.

The John Maine Sanctuary exhibition opens at Salisbury Cathedral Credit: Salisbury Cathedral
The John Maine Sanctuary exhibition opens at Salisbury Cathedral Credit: Salisbury Cathedral

Troops pay tribute at Salisbury Cathedral

A service took place in Salisbury Cathedral today to mark the return - from Afghanistan - of the 1st Mechanised Brigade based in Wiltshire.

The brigade's main role while on tour was to support and train members of the Afghan Army and Police. As Martin Dowse reports - today was also a chance for the soldiers to remember those who didn't make it back.

Soldiers pay tribute to fallen comrades in Wiltshire

A memorial and thanksgiving service for 1st Mechanized Brigade has been held at Salisbury Cathedral Credit: MoD

The Brigade Commander Brigadier Rupert Jones MBE said: “With the focus of the Brigade being Tidworth and Bulford it is a great privilege for us to be hosted in Salisbury today.

“I think it is very important at the end of a tour that you do commemorate your fallen and sadly we had others back here in Britain who died, it is important to remember them and also pause and remember the Afghans who died during the tour as well.

“This summer the Afghans took the lead for the first time, it was a genuinely decisive moment where they had to stand up and they did that very, very, effectively and exceeded everyone’s expectations, not least their own.

“Now the Brigade turns its attention to the next challenge with the Army restructuring.

“The Brigade will take its rotation on to readiness in due course as we re-role into an Armoured Infantry Brigade in 2014 and that is where our focus is.”

Soldiers fill Salisbury Cathedral at memorial service in Wiltshire Credit: MoD

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Soldiers commemorate fallen colleagues

Soldiers from 1 Mechanized Brigade have attended a Thanksgiving & Memorial Service at Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire.

The service marked the return of the Brigade from its recent tour of Afghanistan, and commemorated personnel who lost their lives in Helmand and the UK.

More than 6,000 personnel from the Brigade deployed on Operation Herrick 18 from April to October 2013 as Task Force Helmand (TFH), the first and last deployment that the Brigade will undertake.

“It was a very moving service we were unfortunately commemorating the loss of three personnel in Afghanistan and four from the Brigade who died in the UK.

“So it was a very touching service for all those who knew them including their families.

“This was also a thanksgiving both for the senior officers to thank the troops under their command and for the nation to thank the troops who have been serving in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 18 for the magnificent work they have done in support of the Afghan National Forces.”

– Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology,

Salisbury illuminated by advent candle procession

Salisbury Cathedral lit up during the 'darkness to light' advent procession Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Salisbury Cathedral was spectacularly illuminated by candle light last night during the annual 'darkness to light' advent procession. The service begins with the medieval cathedral in total darkness and silence before the Advent Candle is lit.

The annual advent service is a mix of music and readings during which two great candlelit processions move around the different spaces in the 750-year-old building which, by the end, is illuminated by almost 1,300 candles and is a spectacular start to the Christmas season.

The annual event is one of the most popular services of the liturgical year. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral is home to one of four surviving copies of the historic document, the Magna Carta. Issued by King John in 1215 as a solution to a political crisis he was facing.

It established for the first time the monarch was subject to the law of the land, rather than above it.

Although nearly a third of the text was dropped or substantially rewritten within ten years and almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British Constitution and its principles are echoed in the US constitution and others around the world.

As well as providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for researchers to study the documents together, the unification will be a chance for 1,215 members of the public to see the manuscripts side-by-side after winning free tickets in an public ballot.

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