By Wayne Clarke
Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
It’s been called “Paddy’s Wigwam” and all sorts of other names over the years, and it’s an essential part of the Liverpool skyline.
Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral, properly known as “The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King” stands on Brownlow Hill in Liverpool city centre.
In May 2007 it celebrates two major anniversaries. May 14th is the fortieth anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral and May 30th is the 25th anniversary of the day Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to the Cathedral and the city.
The name “Metropolitan” marks out the Cathedral as the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool, the spiritual leader not just of Catholics in Merseyside but all across the Northern Province of the Catholic Church in England comprising seven dioceses in all.
Bishop Harris consecrated the catheral
A previous design for a Catholic cathedral in Liverpool was by Edwin Lutyens. If it had been built it would have overshadowed the neighbouring Anglican Cathedral, but because of spiralling costs only the crypt was completed.
In 1962 a less ambitious but more modern plan was accepted: the design of Frederick Gibberd for a Cathedral which expressed the renewing of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960’s.
Less than five years later, on the Feast of Pentecost, May 14th 1967, the new Cathedral was consecrated by Bishop Augustine Harris.
The cathedral remains a triumph of modernism and an expression of the new confidence of the Roman Catholic Church, reformulated in liturgy and design for a new age.
last updated: 25/06/07