Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.
The Cathedral is seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool.
The cathedral is designed primarily for liturgical celebrations. The design was the result of an open international competition in 1960, with one crucial criterion – that every member of the congregation could see the altar. Winning architect, 52 year old Sir Frederick Gibberd solved the problem ingeniously, and democratically: he’d build a cathedral in the round. It is the only circular Cathedral Church in Europe. Erection began in 1962 and was completed in 1967. The vast circular space seats 2,300 people. Surrounding the nave, these series of side chapels – interspersed with the gleaming bronze Stations of the Cross, designed by Sean Rice. One of he most striking features is the stained glass lantern tower. The great lantern window is designed by John Piper and executed by Patrick Reyntiens. The cathedral walls have embroidered hangings designed and made in the Cathedral Art Studio.
CRYPT: The Cathedral sits atop a magnificent Crypt – the biggest of its kind in the UK. Today, it houses a permanent exhibition and treasury. However, it was originally designed as part of a far grander scheme. It was intended to be the largest cathedral in the world. The Cathedral Crypt designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The foundation stone was laid in 1933, and the work continued until it was interrupted by the Second World War, when the funds ran out.
The Archbishop of Liverpool decided to abandon the Lutyens Project. An international competition was held in 1960 to design the cathedral for modern times. The winning design was of architect Frederick Gibberd [as mentioned above]. The Crypt served as the cathedral from 1958 to 1967, when the Gibberd Cathedral was opened.
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Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
A monumental flight of steps linking the ground level piazza to the podium. At the top of the main steps is the façade of the bell tower above the main entrance. High above, a pattern of crosses, by William Mitchell, is carved in deep relief in the portland stone. The large central cross of Christ is flanked by the crosses of the two thieves who were crucified with him. Above are the four bells dedicated to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
On either side of the entrance are William Mitchell’s sliding doors of cold-cast bronze, the panels of which depict the winged emblems of the four evangelists – the man of St Matthew, the lion of St Mark, the ox of St Luke and the eagle of St John.
The nave and sanctuary of the Cathedral – Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
The lantern tower, which is one great window, is said to be one of the largest in the world. Designed by John Piper and realized by Patrick Reyntiens. It depicts the Trinity in abstract form.
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