Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Most cities have a cathedral, you can expect it to be biggish, ancient and full of dead worthies and their memorials. But Liverpool was a small town until the 18th century when  it became a major port, and since then there have been a lot of Irish immigrants, so they have a catholic cathedral, so when in Liverpool you have to remember to specify which one you are talking about or asking directions to. It is the biggest in England.

You can see it from Toxteth:

lcath-toxteth

lcath-looming

It teeters on the edge of a large quarry which I guess is the source of the stone it was built from, so the quarry was used as a graveyard complete with catacombs, but they have mostly been cleared.

lcath-catacomb

This is a memorial to the ‘indefatigable’ Catherine Wilkinson who pioneered the building of bath houses for the poor, a very worthy Victorian cause.

lcath-bath-lady

These memorials have been arranged like a chess set.

lcath-memorials

This huge memorial is to William Huskisson, MP for Liverpool who died on 15 Sep 1830 by stepping into the path of a railway carriage. It was the inaugural trip of the new fangled system, and what should have been a celebration turned into the opposite.

lcath-huskisson

At the entrance to the cathedral is the funeral chapel, a fine one it is too.

lcath-fun-chapel

Inside is another fine memorial, to merchant Wiliam Ewart, ‘a virtuous and amiable man’.

lcath-ewart

Inside it is impressively large and spacious

lcath-length

It even has a bridge for tourists

lcath-bridge

Some stained glass windows. A good mix of colour and light

lcath-stain-glass

The huge high altar

lcath-high-altar-front

The lady chapel – bigger and more ornate than most parish churches

lcath-lady-chapel

lcath-arch

The baptismal font. Big, isn’t it? It is in the transept so I couldn’t get it all in one shot.

lcath-font

lcath-font-top

This is where I realised it was all a bit too much. Baptism is when a child or baby is welcomed into the community. It is a gathering of friends and family. This font is not welcoming. It is too tall, too harsh, too architectural, not enough humanity. Too masculine perhaps? This is not speaking of a gentle god, one who forgives, and protects his followers, but one who is marking territory.

Maybe it’s me, but I love a good memorial on the wall. I like to see the names of family members, maybe smile at some archaic name or terminology, a sense of longevity, a feeling that people have worshipped here for longer than I can comprehend. This cathedral is impressive, no doubt about that. But it didn’t make me want to linger or return.

 

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