Liverpool Cathedral

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Hope Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool Cathedral Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
The two cathedrals of Liverpool May 25, 2013
Liverpool’s two cathedrals are either end of Hope Street, up the hill from the docks and not far from Liverpool Lime Street station. They are two very different examples of cathedral architecture, and it’s well worth visiting both of them.

The closest to the station is the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, a modernist, circular building with a soaring central spire and lots of light, that must be one of the most distinctive religious buildings in the UK. Inside, it is a beautiful building with great acoustics, and lots of colourful stained glass and post war art. It has a lovely atmosphere, and lots of interesting displays about the history of the building. That history is relatively short. Although Liverpool has long had a large Catholic population, there was a lot of antipathy to them having their own cathedral and it took a long time to raise money and find land. Eventually, a site was identified and purchased, and the famous architect Lutyens designed an enormous cathedral, which if it had been built, would have been the largest cathedral in the world. I’ve seen scale models of it and it would have been an absolutely enormous building. Unfortunately, when only the crypts had been built, the money ran out. The modern cathedral is the work of a different architect, Gibberd. It is a beautiful building, shaped like an upturned funnel. The spire is full of light and, unusually for a cathedral, the alter is in the middle. It has a lovely peaceful atmosphere inside.

Entrance is free, although they ask for a contribution for maintenance as they've been dogged with structural problems since they opened. I think that's fair. Disabled access would be good.

The Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool is up the road at the other end of Hope Street, and is a sharp contrast in many ways. It is enormous. Absolutely huge. Another new (started in 1904 and finished in the 1970s) cathedral, it was built in the neo-gothic style out of reddish stone, to look like an older church. It is also one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Of course there are many ways of measuring the size of cathedrals/not counting the rivals. Liverpool sometimes claims to be the biggest as it is the second longest after St Peters in Rome, and that is technically a Basilica and not a cathedral. Realistically, everyone counts St Peters as the biggest, and Seville and St Pauls in London have rival claims to being bigger on some measures, but Liverpool is certainly huge. It has little other merit as a tourist attraction. The atmosphere is spoiled by the shop and the busy, two level café, prominent toilets and general noise. There is no real distinctive art and the windows are nice enough but not worth a special trip. But it is worth seeing, because it is so big and as a contrast to its rival up the road.

Entrance is also free, although donations are also asked for. I am fairly sure disabled access is fine.

Both churches are active, and may be closed or offer restricted access during worship.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
Given that the catholic one ran out of money several times and has had a severely leaky roof for the last 60years, I doubt it. The only comment I (as a lapsed Protestant from a nation where there are still occasional sectarian riots...) is that in Liverpool, the catholic cathedral is nicer (if leakier) and the Anglican one is bigger (if more cluttered). :)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013
Zagnut66 says:
In Washington, D.C., we have rival cathedrals between the Catholics and Episcopalians (Anglicans). The Episcopal cathedral was damaged by an earthquake two summers ago while the Catholic one was untouched. And a crazy Chinese tourist just this week threw green paint on the Episcopal altar (she hit several landmarks with paint before getting caught). Maybe God is telling us something? :)
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013
sarahelaine says:
For me. The Anglican one is bigger but I like the catholic one better- it's prettier and feels more spiritual. It's a touchy subject, though- I'm not sure I'd shout that out half way down hope street!
Posted on: Jul 30, 2013
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Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Gothic grandeur Aug 31, 2011
Built just over a hundred years ago, Liverpool Cathedral is constructed in a wonderful gothic style and much larger than I expected it to be. Particular highlights of the building include the main choir area, where the woodwork is carved in incredible detail. I also thought that the Lady Chapel was the key highlight of the place, and the overall effect it has is breathtaking. It was good to see modern paintings on show as well. The cathedral is an awkward mix of being a religious place and an entertainment venue though, as the building has toilets, a fairly decent sized gift shop and is the site for musical events. One great thing about the place is the accessibility - free pamphlets that provide a decent overview of the cathedral are available in several languages and staff are dotted around the building to give helpful advice. The cathedral attracts a very decent amount of visitors from the globe and deservedly so. Worth seeing.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
millerpins millerpi…
10 reviews
An un-missable attraction May 20, 2011
Im not even sure where to start with this review, this is such a breath-taking experience that everybody in Liverpool should come and see this cathedral, It took 74 years to build and was finally completed in 1978 making this the biggest catherdral in the Uk and the 5th bigest in the world and having the largest indoor gothic arches in the world also.

I Started off by exploring the amazing graveyard that surrounds the place, never been to a graveyard in my life like this one, it just seemed there was no plan to bury people but just to dot them in really abstract places around the grounds. This does not actually belong to the cathedral itself but to the local council of liverpool and there are some really famous local people buried there including Huskisson who was the first person killed by the railway, and his tomb is something to be amazed by its sure size and shape. With this amazing graveyard it just seems no matter where you turn or stand there is something that will surprise and make you have a good look at it, trust me i spent around an hour just looking through this relitavly small area.

Next i decided to go into the cathedral itself, looking at its 331 foot tower before i stepped into the massive doors of the building and for the sheer size and beauty took my breath away, this was amazing experience, as i was walking through it silently taking random pictures or anything that look nice i was pulled by a lady who was part of the church who offered to take me on a small guided tour of the building which was very nice of her, showing me famous people who was buried in the building and showing me where the bishop sits when he attends services and showing and explaining paintings to me on the wall, a very nice lady indeed.

As you leave the building they do ask for a small donation to keep up with the cost of the building and i think for £5 you can have a guided tour of the building and a chance to go to the roof of the builing which looks over the city itself and on a good day, you can see wales and even blackpool tower. I did not choose this option becuase the weather was poor and was not worth not seeing anything, so i shall return on a nicer day. Overall i spent around 2 hours in this area and was well worth every minute, i seriously do recommend this to anybody 100% to come and visit this cathedral, i promise you wont be dissapointed.
Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool Cathedral
Liverpool Cathedral
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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