“Rave in the nave” Canterbury Cathedral hosts silent disco

Party people swapped out the warehouse for their local cathedral in Canterbury for a 90s nostalgia night in the garden of England.


Smack my Baptist Up! Faith is Massive! Shut Up and Pray! These are my nominees for new rave tunes to be played tonight when Canterbury Cathedral hosts its second night of 90s silent discos.

Held on Thursday night in the cathedral, first founded in the Kent city in 597 AD, the silent disco was the first of two back-to-back sellout events. It’s part of a series of silent discos taking place in cathedrals and churches around Europe, a spokesperson for the Grade I listed building said the event would be “appropriate and respectful” and “not a rave in the nave”.

Still, the thought of revellers getting down and dirty around the pulpit was too much for groups of concerned Christians. Over 1,600 people signed a petition against the event and organised a prayer vigil outside the cathedral.

The event promised the likes of popular artists from the era, including the Vengaboys, Britney Spears, B*witched, Snoop Dogg, TLC, Haddaway, Lauryn Hill, Blur, Spice Girls and Eminem.

Attendees could switch between three channels: red for hip-hop/R&B, green for pop/dance, and blue for alternative.

Some of the protesters were “horrified” at the prospect of people listening to the – admittedly pretty blue – content of rapper Eminem.

Cajetan Skowronski, who organised the petition said: “It will not bring young people closer to Christ, rather it will send the message that Christ and his church, and all the truth, beauty and goodness it has to offer, are unimportant – that entertainment deserves our attention more than God, that Christians do not take their faith or their holy places seriously.”

To counter that, the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Reverend David Monteith has said that “Cathedrals have always been part of community life in a way much wider than their prime focus as centres of Christian worship and mission.”

“Whilst dancing of all different kinds has happened in the cathedral over the centuries, there are many different views on the secular and the sacred,” Monteith explained further.

Writing for Kent Online, Max Chesson reported that: “There was a lot of love in the room and this event did bring people together where possible.”

Would you fancy a boogie in a chapel?