Christ Church Cathedral (Fredericton)

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Coordinates: 45°57′27″N 66°38′06″W / 45.95750°N 66.63496°W / 45.95750; -66.63496

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral, 2005
Location Fredericton, New Brunswick
Country Canada
Denomination Anglican
Founded 1845
Founder(s) John Medley
Dedicated 1853
Consecrated 1853
Status active
Architectural type Neo-Gothic
Completed 1853
Capacity c.500
Length 62 metres (203 ft)
Width 33 metres (108 ft)
Nave width 34 metres (112 ft)
Height 70 metres (230 ft)
Number of spires 1
Spire height 38 metres (125 ft)
Parish extra-parochial
Diocese Fredericton
Province Canada
Bishop(s) Claude W. Miller
Dean Keith R. Joyce
Organist(s) Dr. Willis Noble

Christ Church Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Fredericton. It is located in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Construction on the cathedral began in 1845. It was consecrated in 1853. The Gothic Revival cathedral is modelled after St. Mary's Church, Snettisham, Norfolk.[1]


Christ Church Cathedral (Fredericton) in 1909

G. Ernest Fairweather (architect) performed additions for Christ Church Cathedral (Fredericton) (1907). He made alterations to Bottreaux House for Bishop John A. Richardson (1907).[2]


The Cathedral has suffered two fires in its century and a half. In both damage was largely contained to the tower and the choir area underneath it.


In the 1990s the Cathedral underwent a restoration program consisting of refacing its stonework, repointing tracery, cleaning its woodwork, and shoring up the masonry on the east end. The copper plating and a new cross were installed on the spire.

The Cathedral was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981.[3]

The Cathedral Today[edit]



There are three choirs: an adult choir which provides music for principal Sunday services and monthly evensong; a treble children's choir which sings monthly at Sunday morning and evening services; and a contemporary choir which sings at the morning contemporary service.[4] The four-manual Casavant Frères organ was built in 1957, replacing a 1912 instrument which was built after the first fire.[5]

Willis Noble is the current Director of Music and Organist. Former Directors of Music and Organists include:

  • Michael Capon (now at St. George's Cathedral, Kingston)
  • Paul Murray (interim)
  • Geoffrey Campbell


The Cathedral is extra-parochial. It has a congregation, which acts in many ways like a parish, but does not exist within a parish itself. The parish lands of downtown Fredericton belong to Christ Church Parish Church, the former Chapel of Ease constructed by Bishop Medley upon the demolition of the original parish church in Fredericton. As a community, the Cathedral is governed by Bishop and Chapter whose function lies somewhere in between a parish council and that of the usual Chapters of other cathedrals. For instance, there are numerous congregation representatives on Bishop and Chapter, along with the canons who make up the Cathedral's Collegiate body.


This extra-parochial status, and its financial implications means that the Cathedral is understaffed for a church of stature. Until fairly recently the Dean, Keith Joyce, was the only stipendiary minister associated with the Cathedral itself. The appointment of a youth minister occurred in late 2011, replacing the long-vacant position of curate or vicar in the Cathedral. There are however, a number of honorary assistants. The Canons and Prebends of the Cathedral Chapter typically do not have a liturgical role at the Cathedral unlike other foundations. In the Diocese of Fredericton these positions are largely ceremonial, rather than collegiate to the Cathedral itself.

Past Deans of the Cathedral include

  • William Hockin (Now retired Bishop of Fredericton)
  • John Wright


External links[edit]