Liverpool Cathedral is the Church of England cathedral of the Diocese of Liverpool, built on St James's Mount in Liverpool and is the seat of the Bishop of Liverpool. Its official name is the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool but it is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin. The total external length of the building, including the Lady Chapel, is 189 metres (620 ft) making it the second longest cathedral in the world; its internal length is 146 metres (479 ft). In terms of overall volume, Liverpool Cathedral ranks as the fifth-largest cathedral in the world and contests the title of largest Anglican church building alongside the incomplete Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
With a height of 100.8 metres (331 ft) it is also one of the world's tallest non-spired church buildings and the third-tallest structure in the city of Liverpool. The cathedral has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. The Anglican cathedral is one of two in the city. The other, the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool, is situated approximately half a mile to the north. The cathedrals are linked by Hope Street, which takes its name from William Hope, a local merchant whose house stood on the site now occupied by the Philharmonic Hall, and was named long before either cathedral was built.
The Cathedral's official website gives the dimensions of the building as
- Length: 188.7 metres (619 ft)
- Area: 9,687.4 square metres (104,274 sq ft)
- Height of tower: 100.8 metres (331 ft)
- Choir vault: 35.3 metres (116 ft)
- Nave vault: 36.5 metres (120 ft)
- Under tower vault: 53.3 metres (175 ft)
- Tower arches: 32.6 metres (107 ft)
The cathedral was built mainly of local sandstone quarried from the South Liverpool suburb of Woolton. The last sections (The Well of the Cathedral at the west end in the 1960s and 1970s) used the closest matching sandstone that could be found from other NW quarries once the supply from Woolton had been exhausted.
Services and other uses:
The cathedral is open daily all year round from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (except Christmas Day when it closes to the public at 3 pm), and regular services are held every day of the week at 8:30 am: Morning Prayer (Holy Communion on Sundays). 12:05 pm Monday-Saturday (Communion) and Monday–Friday at 5:30 pm (Evensong or said Evening Prayer according to day and time of year). At the weekend, there is also a 3 pm Evensong service on Saturdays and Sundays with a main cathedral Eucharist at 10:30 am, which attracts a large core congregation each week. It also has a more intimate Communion on Sundays at 4 pm.
Since early 2011, the cathedral has also offered a regular, more informal form of cafe-style worship called "Zone 2", running parallel to its main Sunday Eucharist each week and held in the lower rooms in the Sir Giles Gilbert Scott Function Suite (formerly The Western Rooms). The core services at 5:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10:30 am on Sundays, and 3 pm Saturdays and Sundays are supported on each occasion during term time by the cathedral choir.
The Liverpool St. Andrew's congregation of the Church of Scotland uses the Radcliffe Room of the cathedral for Sunday services. Admission to the cathedral is free, but with a suggested donation of £3. Car parking is available on site on a pay-on-exit basis. Parking is free for attendance at all services. Access to the main floor of the cathedral is restricted during services and some of the major events.
At 67 m (220 ft) above floor level, the bells of Liverpool Cathedral are the highest and heaviest ringing peal in the world. The peal proper (hung for full-circle change ringing) consists of thirteen bells weighing a total of 16.5 tons, which are named the Bartlett Bells after Thomas Bartlett (d September 4, 1912), a native of Liverpool who bequeathed the funding. The bells vary in size and note from the comparatively light 10 cwt treble to the tenor weighing 4 tons. The 13th bell (sharp 2nd) is extra to the main 12-bell peal, and its purpose is to make possible ringing in a correct octave in a higher key. All thirteen bells were cast by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel in London. The initial letters of the inscriptions on the thirteen bells spell out the name “Thomas Bartlett” (from tenor to treble).
The organ, built by Henry Willis & Sons, is the largest pipe organ in the UK with two five-manual consoles, 10,268 pipes and a trompette militaire. There is an annual anniversary recital on the Saturday nearest to 18 October, the date of the organ's consecration. There is a two-manual Willis organ in the Lady Chapel.