IT may be more than 900 years old, but Durham Cathedral is embracing the Facebook phenomenon, having become the most popular cathedral on the social networking website.

Only six weeks after the Norman wonder – described by travel writer Bill Bryson as the world’s finest cathedral – joined Facebook, it has has attracted more than 1,200 online fans, more than any other cathedral.

Cathedral lovers have signed up from across the country and around the globe, including Japan, Kenya, France and Australia, with some visitors posting favourite photographs on the page.

One fan, Gemma, wrote: “My favourite place in the whole world!

I know I’m home when I turn the bend on the main road and can see it through the trees – and the view coming into Durham station – wow!

“Words just can’t describe its majesty and magnificence – it is simply breathtaking.”

Another, Paula, said: “What a totally spectacular building – absolutely awe-inspiring.”

Philip Davies, the chapter clerk and administrator of the Facebook site, said: “I’m really pleased with the success of the Facebook page after so short a time. It shows a very high level of interest in the cathedral and it’s particularly pleasing that the vast majority of the fans who have registered on the page are under the age of 30.

“Many of the fans live in the North-East, but there is a good spread across the world.

“Our job is to develop their interest further by providing information about events and services so that they can keep in contact with the daily life of the cathedral.

“We are also planning to Twitter and podcast very soon.”

He added: “Durham Cathedral might be an ancient institution but it is using very modern technology to tell people that it is here and it is here for them.”

The page also has details of cathedral history, services and visitor information.

Winchester Cathedral has 244 Facebook fans, while Lincoln has 165,Liverpoolhas 58 and Chelmsford Facebook members can see Durham Cathedral’s page by visiting and searching for Durham Cathedral.