From National Catholic Reporter-
On a wide promontory above the River Wear, which cuts through this bustling university town, a vast cathedral, ringed by medieval battlements, rises into the cloudy sky.
When the cathedral was founded in 1093 as part of Durham's Benedictine monastery, its prince-bishops wielded absolute power, and helped repel Scottish and Danish marauders at the behest of England's Norman rulers. A millennium later, it's still serving as a bastion of the Christian faith and a magnet for local life and culture.
"Whatever might be said, Britain is still a Christian country, and cathedrals like ours, which survived the Reformation, are still a focus for vibrant communities," explained cathedral librarian the Rev. Rosalind Brown, who chairs Durham's World Heritage Site committee. "They're a part of the church which is growing today rather than diminishing — proof that the Christian faith can still flourish and increase if properly encouraged."
Durham Cathedral is just one of England's great cathedrals. But it’s larger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, contains an ancient bishop's throne higher than the pope's, and was once England's greatest pilgrim destination.
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