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Worcester’s medieval crypt of bones celebrated in local documentary screening at Cathedral

WORCESTERSHIRE / AGILITYPR.NEWS / February 07, 2024 / An award-winning film based on a book written by the late wife of the Bishop of Worcester, John Inge, will get a special screening at Worcester Cathedral to commemorate the 10th anniversary of her death. 

The film is based around Denise Inge’s book ‘A Tour of Bones’ which she wrote after becoming fascinated by the charnel house - a crypt filled with human bones - hidden under a trapdoor in their basement.

The history of the charnel house became much more significant for Denise when she was diagnosed with an inoperable sarcoma - her book covers the themes of mortality, preparing for death and embracing life.

Local video production agency, Conteur, worked in collaboration with the Bishop to create the film, ‘Life Over Death’, sharing never-seen-before footage of thousands of medieval human bones in the cathedral grounds and bringing to life Denise’s words…

The house of bones remains one of Worcester’s best-kept secrets, and Bishop John is hoping the screening will share some of the cathedral’s lesser-known magic with viewers, while paying tribute to Denise who lost her life to cancer in 2014.  

Bishop John Inge said: “Over her years living in College Yard Denise developed a fascination with the charnel house and the connection between life and death. 

“To see her words and the strange beauty of the charnel house brought to life in film is a privilege and something so unique to Worcester. I’m hoping the community will get behind this special film, learn something new about our beautiful historic city and, in the process, reflect on life in the light of death.”

Shot over three days and winning ‘best documentary’ at Worcester’s Film Festival in October last year, members of the public are now being invited to celebrate the film and Denise’s life.

Gillian Davies from Conteur directed the film. She said: “It’s been nothing short of a privilege to work on this project alongside Bishop John and the team at the cathedral.

“The charnel house has long been a legend in Worcestershire so to be able to bring it to life has been fascinating for the whole team. So many of us will have walked over the bones which sit beneath the entrance of the cathedral without ever realising its existence. We’re so looking forward to sharing the film with the community.”

Tickets to the event, which takes place on Saturday, 9th March at 7.30pm at Worcester Cathedral, have been limited to 300 and cost £16 - all money raised will go to the Cathedral, which has responsibility for looking after the Charnel House.

The event will feature an introduction to the film, a special behind-the-scenes viewing and a Q&A with Bishop John and the film crew. Refreshments will also be available.

Tickets can be purchased here: 


Bishop John at the crypt

Filming at the Charnel House


Medha Palav

Junior Account Executive


Phone: 01905 670881