Authentic Medieval images for Christmas cards

Christmas Cards with a particular Bangor link are for sale at Bangor Cathedral and from Bangor University this Christmas.

The cards have two illustrations from the unique medieval Bangor Pontifical Manuscript, or ‘Bishops Book’ copied and illustrated in around 1320, which contains the texts, music and services required for significant occasions when the bishop was present through the year. The Book once belonged to Anian II, Bishop of Bangor between 1309 and 1328.

The cards show a miniature of a bishop consecrating a church, and the decorated opening page of a special Mass celebrated during the Christmas season.

The cards are on sale at Bangor Cathedral and from Keith Beasley at the School of Music (e mail  for £3.99 for 10 (single design). Any profits are being shared between the Cathedral and the Pontifical project, which represents a special collaboration between University and Cathedral.

The Bangor Pontifical Project is providing global access to this unique manuscript by digitising its pages and placing them on the internet. The existing website already enables users to examine the book in its entirety, and to zoom in on its intricate decoration and musical notation. During the coming year it will be enriched with many more resources, including additional commentary and illustrations, parallel translations and educational materials, as well as an audio facility where users can hear some of the chants performed.

Dr Sally Harper, one of the Project’s Directors, said,

“The Pontifical is beautifully illuminated- and even has some Medieval doodles in its margins. We chose the images because these pages represent key points in the manuscript, and show the Bangor artist at his most creative”.

The Very Revd Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Bangor, added, "The Pontifical has always been one of the Cathedral’s treasures, and the joint enterprise of the Pontifical Project represents an important part of our developing link with the University."

Publication date: 28 November 2011