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
In late 1901, two well-known architects were appointed
as assessors for an open competition for architects
wishing to be considered for the design of the Cathedral.
G. F. Bodley was a leading exponent of the Gothic
revival style, and a former pupil and relative by
marriage of Sir George Gilbert Scott. R. Norman
Shaw was an eclectic architect, having begun in
the Gothic style, and later favouring what his biographer
Andrew Saint calls "full-blooded classical
or imperial architecture".
In 1903, the assessors recommended
a proposal submitted by the 22-year-old Giles Gilbert
Scott, who was still an articled pupil working in
Temple Moore's practice, and had no existing buildings
to his credit. He told the assessors that so far
his only major work had been to design a pipe-rack.
The choice of winner was even more contentious with
the Cathedral Committee when it was discovered that
Scott was a Roman Catholic, but the decision stood.
In 1909, free of Bodley and growing
in confidence, Scott submitted an entirely new design
for the main body of the Cathedral. His original
design had two towers at the west endand a single
transept; the revised plan called for a single central
tower 85.344 metres (280.00 ft) high, topped with
a lantern and flanked by twin transepts.
Work was severely limited during the First World
War, with a shortage of manpower, materials and
donations. By 1920, the workforce had been brought
back up to strength and the stone quarries at Woolton,
source of the pinkish-red sandstone for most of
the building, reopened. The first section of the
main body of the Cathedral was complete by 1924.
It comprised the chancel, an ambulatory, chapter
house and vestries.The section was closed with a
temporary wall, and on 19 July 1924, the 20th anniversary
of the laying of the foundation stone, the Cathedral
was consecrated in the presence of King George V
and Queen Mary, and Bishops and Archbishops from
around the globe.
Scott died in 1960. The first bay of the nave was
then nearly complete, and was handed over to the
Dean and Chapter in April 1961. Scott was succeeded
as architect by Frederick Thomas. Thomas, who had
worked with Scott for many years, drew up a new
design for the west front of the cathedral. The
Guardian commented, "It was an inflation beater,
but totally in keeping with the spirit of the earlier
work, and its crowning glory is the Benedicite Window
designed by Carl Edwards and covering 1,600 sq.
The completion of the building was
marked by a service of thanksgiving and dedication
in October 1978, attended by Queen Elizabeth II.
In the spirit of ecumenism that had been fostered
in Liverpool, the Roman Catholic Archbishop Derek
Worlock played a major part in the ceremony.