Monday 6 May 2013

Metropolitan Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool was designed by Frederick Gibberd and was completed in 1967. It is built in concrete with a Portland stone cladding and a lead covering to the roof.  The shape is conical and it is surmounted by a tower in the shape of a truncated cone. The building is supported by 16 boomerang-shaped concrete trusses which are held together by two ring beams. Flying buttresses are attached to the trusses, giving the cathedral a tent-like appearance. 
Rising from the upper ring beam is a lantern tower, containing windows of stained glass, and at its peak is a crown of pinnacles. 
The entrance is at the top of a wide flight of steps leading up from Hope Street.

It's a Catholic Cathedral: during the great Irish famine, the Catholic population of Liverpool increased dramatically - about half a million Irish, who were predominantly Catholic fled to England to escape the famine: many embarked from Liverpool to travel to North America while others remained in the city.
To the sides of the entrance doors are reliefs in fibreglass by William Mitchell, which represent the symbols of the Evangelists.

A side view

The focus of the interior is the altar which faces the main entrance. It's made of white marble. The floor is also of marble in grey and white and was designed by David Atkins.
The stained glass in the cathedral is breathtaking. Various artists have designed different parts, including John Piper, Patrick Reyntiens, Magaret Traherne, Ceri Richards, Raphael Seitz.

The effect of the stained glass on the interior is awe-inspiring
The tower has large areas of stained glass designed by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens. There are three colours, yellow, blue and red.

Around the perimeter are a series of chapels

each with its own stained glass
different shaped windows, different colours

one of the chapels

and the light filtering through the stained glass onto the wall was breathtaking.


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