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METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE KING

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST THE KING, PADDYS WIGWAM
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A Roman Catholic Cathedral with a crypt built by 1940, main cathedral built in 1959. Despite Liverpool being the city with the largest Roman Catholic population in England, it was the last to gain a cathedral. A design was commissioned from Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1930, but by 1940 only the crypt was completed. The scheme was simplified by Adrian Gilbert Scott, but in 1959 it was abandoned altogether and a competition held for an alternative. Frederick Gibberd's design was the winner out of 289 entries, the assessors concluding that it 'powerfully expresses the kingship of Christ, because the whole building is conceived as a crown'. Gibberd put a flat roof over Lutyens' crypt to make a space for outdoor services, and designed a new church with an underground car park on land to the south. The cathedral has a concrete frame with ceramic mosaic cladding; walls are clad in Portland stone whilst aluminium covers the roof. It is 16-sided, with a perfectly central alter under a glazed corona. Stained glass was designed by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens, which is 25 millimetres thick and set in concrete panels. Elisabeth Frink designed the altar cross, R Y Goodden the candlesticks and the marble floor is by David Atkins. The stone belfry and bronze outer doors feature relief panels by William Mitchell, and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament has a mural by Ceri Richards. The Lady chapel has traditionally set glass by Margaret Trahearne, and a Madonna and Child by Robert Brumby. Building began on the new design in 1962 and it was opened in 1967.

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