Posted by: frroberts | October 5, 2017

Destination: Westminster Cathedral

From wikipedia:

In the late 19th century, the Catholic Church‘s hierarchy had only recently been restored in England and Wales, and it was in memory of Cardinal Wiseman (who died in 1865, and was the first Archbishop of Westminster from 1850) that the first substantial sum of money was raised for the new cathedral. The land was acquired in 1884 by Wiseman’s successor, Cardinal Manning, having previously been occupied by the second Tothill Fields Bridewell prison.

After two false starts in 1867 (under architect Henry Clutton) and 1892 (architect Baron von Herstel), construction started in 1895 under Manning’s successor, the third archbishop, Cardinal Vaughan, with John Francis Bentley as architect, and built in a style heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture.[4]

The cathedral opened in 1903, a year after Bentley’s death. One of the first public services in the cathedral was Cardinal Vaughan’s requiem; the cardinal died on 19 June 1903.[5] For reasons of economy, the decoration of the interior had hardly been started and still much remained to be completed. Under the laws of the Catholic Church at the time, no place of worship could be consecrated unless free from debt and having its fabric completed. The consecration ceremony took place on 28 June 1910, although the interior was never finished.[6]

In 1977, as part of her Silver Jubilee celebrations, Queen Elizabeth II visited the cathedral. Although there was no religious service (the visit was to a flower show) it was highly symbolic as the first visit of a reigning monarch of the United Kingdom to a Catholic church in the nation since the Reformation.

On 28 May 1982, the first day of his six-day pastoral visit to the United Kingdom, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the cathedral.

On St Andrew’s Day (30 November) 1995, at the invitation of Cardinal Basil Hume, Queen Elizabeth again visited the cathedral but this time she attended Choral Vespers, the first participation of the Queen in a Catholic church liturgy in Great Britain.

On 18 September 2010, on the third day of his four-day state visit to the United Kingdom, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the cathedral.

In January 2011 the cathedral was the venue for the reception and ordination of three former Anglican bishops[7] into the newly formed Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.




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