Leicester Cathedral

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Leicester Cathedral
Cathedral Church of St Martin

Leicester Cathedral Exterior
Leicester Cathedral is located in Leicester Central
Leicester Cathedral
Leicester Cathedral
Location within Leicester
52°38′05″N 1°08′14″W / 52.634644°N 1.137086°W / 52.634644; -1.137086Coordinates: 52°38′05″N 1°08′14″W / 52.634644°N 1.137086°W / 52.634644; -1.137086
Location Leicester, Leicestershire
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Website cathedral.leicester.anglican.org
Architecture
Style Gothic
Years built 1086–1867
Specifications
Number of spires 1
Spire height 67.1 metres (220 ft)
Administration
Diocese Leicester (since 1927)
Province Canterbury
Clergy
Bishop(s) Tim Stevens
Dean David Monteith
Subdean Barry Naylor, Urban Canon
Precentor Johannes Arens
Canon Chancellor Vacant since 18 May 2013
Canon(s) Paul Hackwood, Canon Residentiary (SSM)
Pete Hobson, Acting Canon Missioner
Laity
Director of music Christopher Johns
Organist(s) Simon Headley
The Vaughan Porch (1897) by George Frederick Bodley
Vaughan Porch statues
The east window
View of the choir stalls in the chancel

The Cathedral Church of St Martin, Leicester, usually known as Leicester Cathedral, is a Church of England cathedral in the English city of Leicester and the seat of the Bishop of Leicester. The church was elevated to a collegiate church in 1922 and made a cathedral in 1927 following the establishment of a new Diocese of Leicester in 1926.

History[edit]

A church dedicated to St Martin has been on the site for about a thousand years, being first recorded in 1086, when the older Saxon church was replaced by a Norman one.[citation needed] The present building dates to about that age, with the addition of a spire, and various restorations throughout the years. Most of what can be seen today is a Victorian restoration by architect Raphael Brandon.[citation needed] The cathedral of the former Anglo-Saxon diocese of Leicester was on a different site.[1]

A cenotaph memorial stone to King Richard III of England is located in the chancel. The monarch, killed in 1485 at the Leicestershire battlefield of Bosworth Field, was roughly interred in the Greyfriars, Leicester. His remains were exhumed from the Greyfriars site in 2012 and publicly identified in February 2013.[2][3] Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester, and David Monteith, the Cathedral's Canon Chancellor, announced the king's body would be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral in early 2014. The present royal family were making no claim on the body, archaeologists said. The Ministry of Justice initially confirmed that the University of Leicester would make the final decision on where the bones should be re-buried,[4] however an outcry and legal action brought by collateral descendants of King Richard has meant that the King's final resting place has yet to be determined.[5] Those bringing the legal challenge want the King's wishes honoured: to be buried within York Minster with his family.[5] The Dean of Leicester, however, called their challenge "disrespectful", and confirmed the Cathedral would not be investing any more money or time until the matter was decided.[6] In August 2013 a judge granted permission for a judicial review as the original burial plans ignored the Common Law duty "to consult widely as to how and where Richard III's remains should appropriately be reinterred".[7]

The East Window was installed as a monument to those that died in World War I. The highest window contains a sun-like orb with cherubs radiating away from it. In the centre Jesus sits holding a starry heaven in one hand with one foot on a bloody hell. Surrounding Jesus are eight Angels whose wings are made from a red glass. To the far right stands St Martin, who stands on the tail of a dragon. The dragon goes behind Jesus and can be seen re-emerging under the feet of St George who stands on its head. On the bottom row can be seen from left St Joan of Arc, Mary, Jesus with crying angels, Mary Magdalene, James and finally St Martin of Tours. A World War I soldier can be found in this window.

The tower and spire were restored both internally and externally in 2004–5. The main work was to clean and replace any weak stonework with replacement stone quarried from Tyne Valley. The cost was up to £600,000, with £200,000 being donated by the English Heritage, and the rest raised through public donations.[8]

The cathedral has close links with Leicester Grammar School which used to be located directly next to it. Morning assemblies would take place each week on different days depending on the school's year groups, and services were attended by its pupils. The relationship continues despite the school's move to Great Glen, about seven miles south of Leicester.[9][10]

In 2011, after extensive refurbishment, the cathedral's offices moved to the former site of Leicester Grammar School and the building was renamed "St Martin's House". The choir song school also relocated to the new building, and the new site also offers conference rooms and other facilities that can be hired out. The new building was officially opened by the Bishop of Leicester in the summer of 2011.[11]

Architecture[edit]

Leicester Cathedral is a Grade II* listed building comprising a large nave and chancel with two chancel chapels, along with a 220-foot high spire which was added in 1862. The building has undergone various restoration projects over the centuries, including work by the Victorian architect Raphael Brandon, and the building appears largely Gothic in style today. Inside the cathedral, the large wooden screen separating the nave from the chancel was designed by Sir Charles Nicholson and carved by Bowman of Stamford.[12][13]

Vaughan Porch[edit]

The Vaughan Porch which is situated at the south side of the church was designed by J. L. Pearson, who was also the architect of Truro Cathedral. It is named the Vaughan Porch because it was erected in memory of the Vaughans who served successively as vicars throughout a great part of the nineteenth century. The front of the porch depicts seven saintly figures set in sandstone niches, all of whom are listed below.[14]

Chapels[edit]

The cathedral contains three separate chapels, each of which is dedicated to a different saint. St Katharine's and St Dunstan's Chapels act as side chapels and are used occasionally for smaller services and vigils. St George's Chapel, which is located at the back of the cathedral commemorates the armed services, and contains memorials to those from Leicestershire who have been killed in past conflicts.

St Katharine's Chapel is located on the north side of the Cathedral to the left of the sanctuary. In the window above the altar is St Katharine who was tied to a wheel and tortured (hence the firework named after her). Below this is a carved panel showing Jesus on the cross with Mary and John on either side of him. St Francis of Assisi and the 17th century poet Robert Herrick are also pictured – indeed, the chapel is sometimes referred to as the 'Herrick Chapel'

St Dunstan's Chapel, located on the other side of the chancel to St Katharine's Chapel, is specially put aside for people to pray in. A candle burns in a hanging lamp to show that the sacrament of Christ's body and blood is kept here to take to those who are too ill to come to church. The walls of the chapel are covered with memorials to people who have prayed in the chapel. St Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 10th century and scenes from his life are depicted in the south-east window.

St George's Chapel was the chapel of the Guild of St George. The effigy of England's national saint, on a horse, was kept here and borne through the streets annually on 23 April in a procession known as 'riding the George'.[citation needed] The legend of George killing a dragon is shown in one of the chapel's windows. The chapel, enclosed by a carved wooden screen, was reconstructed in 1921 and contains memorials to the men of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. Here the battle honours of the Regiment and the names of those killed in the Crimean, South African and two World Wars are recorded and remembered.[15]

Services[edit]

Leicester Cathedral follows the rites of the Church of England and uses the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for the main Choral Eucharist on Sunday.[16]

Cathedral staff[edit]

Provosts and deans[edit]

The title of Provost was changed in 2002 to Dean.[17]

Choir[edit]

The Leicester Cathedral Choir is made up of the Boys Choir, the Girls Choir and the Cathedral Songmen. Boys and girls are recruited from schools throughout Leicester and Leicestershire, whilst many of the songmen originally joined the choir as trebles and have stayed on after their voice broke. The cathedral also offers scholarships worth around £1000 a year to gap year and university students at Leicester University and De Montfort University.[24] Whilst the choir occasionally produces CDs and other recordings, it is also one of the only cathedral choirs never to have appeared on BBC Radio 3's Choral Evensong.

The choir participates in regular festivals, with the annual RSCM Leicestershire festival in September often taking place in the cathedral itself. Each year during February the choir joins those of Derby and Coventry cathedrals and, more recently, Southwell Minsterr for what is known as the Midlands Four Choirs Festival. Each cathedral takes it in turns to host the event, although the repertoire is chosen, and music conducted, by the directors of music of all participating choirs.

Choir tours[edit]

The cathedral choir tours abroad typically once every three to four years, and in both 1998 and 2005 they visited Japan. Other destinations abroad have included Rhode Island in the United States, Germany, and France. In other years, the choir has spent a week during the summer in residence at another English cathedral church, such as Lincoln, Wells, York and Chester.[25][26] The boys and girls choirs, as well as the younger songmen also spend five days in August at Launde Abbey, a retreat house in east Leicestershire.[27]

Organ and organists[edit]

Organ[edit]

The organ was installed by J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd in 1873 and since then has been rebuilt by Harrison and Harrison in 1929 and 1972. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.

Organists and directors of music[edit]

Assistant organists and assistant directors of music[edit]

  • Frederick William Dickerson
  • Dennis Arnold Smith 1918
  • Stanley Vann 1932 (subsequently Master of the Music at Peterborough Cathedral 1953–1977)
  • Thomas Bates Wilkinson 1933[28]
  • Wallace Michael Ross 1951 (subsequently assistant organist at Gloucester Cathedral 1954–1958, and organist of Derby Cathedral 1958–1982)
  • Sidney Thomas Rudge 1955
  • Robert Prime 1965
  • Geoffrey Malcolm Herbert Carter 1973 (subsequently organist of St Mary's Church, Humberstone)
  • David Cowen 1995 (now Associate Organist of Leicester Cathedral)
  • Simon Headley 1999 (now Assistant Director of Music – see below)

In 2010 the posts of Organist and Director of Music were separated, the Assistant Organist post being re-titled Organist & Assistant Director of Music.

  • Simon Headley 2010–present (also acted as Acting Director of Music in the Autumn of 2010 between the departure of Jonathan Gregory and the appointment of current Director of Music, Christopher Johns)

Bells[edit]

The tower of the cathedral has 13 bells (including a peal of 12). These can be heard on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings, with peals being rung on special days. The tenor bell weighs 25-0-20.[29]

The following is the full list of the inscriptions on the thirteen bells.

  • XII THE CORONATION BELL OF HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE VIth RECAST BY THE FREEMASONS OF LEICESTERSHIRE AND RUTLAND 12 May 1937. F B MACNUTT PROVOST C F OLIVER PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER GOD SAVE THE KING H Watchorn Esq. Mayor J Nichols. W Capp Churchwardens Edwd. Arnold Fecit 1781
  • XI THE NORTH BELL RECAST BY ALDERMAN SIR JONATHAN NORTH J.P. MAYOR OF LEICESTER 1914–1918 and WILLIAM ALBERT NORTH J.P. HIGH SHERIFF OF LEICESTERSHIRE 1935–36. 12 May 1937 GOD SAVE CITY AND SHIRES Recast by J Taylor and Co. 1879 Edward Arnold Fecit 1781 Thomas Ingram 1879
  • X THE BELL OF THE CONGREGATION RECAST BY THE CONGREGATION OF THE CATHEDRAL 12 May 1937 GOD SAVE HIS CHURCH H Watchorn Esq. Mayor J Nichols. W Capp Churchwardens Edward Arnold Fecit 1781
  • IX THE SAMSON SMITH BELL RECAST BY SAMSON SMITH OF LEICESTER 12 May 1937 CHRIST IS RISEN ALLELUYA H Watchorn Esq. Mayor J Nichols. W Capp Churchwardens Edwd. Arnold Fecit 1781
  • VIII THEJARVISBELL RECAST BY WILLLAM GEORGE JARVIS CHURCHWARDEN AND DEPUTY WARDEN OF ST MARTINS 12 May 1937 ADESTE. FIDELES. GAUDETE. ORATE. Praise him upon the well tuned cymbals: Praise him upon the loud cymbals. 1781
  • VII THE PARTRIDGE BELL RECAST IN MEMORY OF SAMUEL STEADS PARTRIDGE J.P. BY HIS WIFE ELIZABETH PARTRIDGE 12 May 1937 GOD SEND US PEACE IN CHRIST J Taylor & Co. Founders Loughborough MDCCCLXXIX Continentia THE STELFOX BELL (HALF-TONE) GIVEN IN MEMORY OF JAMES WALTER STELFOX, LAY CANON, CHURCHWARDEN AND DEPUTY WARDEN OF ST MARTINS BY HIS WIFE EVELYN MARSLAND STELFOX 12 May 1937 NON CLAMOR SED AMOR
  • VI THE DANIELS BELL RECAST BY SAMUEL KILWORTH DANIELS, LAY CANON OF ST MARTINS IN MEMORY OF HIS WIFE CAROLINE DANIELS 12 May 1937 IN HIS WILL IS OUR PEACE
  • V THE FIELDING JOHNSON BELL RECAST IN MEMORY OF THOMAS FIELDING JOHNSON MA, J.P. LAY CANON OF ST MARTINS AND HIS WIFE FLORENCE LYNE JOHNSON BY THEIR CHILDREN FLORENCE JULIA FIELDING EVERARD J.P. AGNES MIRIAM FIELDING JOHNSON, WILLIAM SPURRETT FIELDING JOHNSON 12 May 1937 PEACE TO THEM THAT ARE AFAR OFF AND TO THEM THAT ARE NIGH Rev. Edward Thomas Vaughan Vicar, Henry Sharpe Jones. Joseph Simpkin Church Wardens. John Taylor & Son Bellfounders Loughhorough Late of Oxford, Bideford Devon and St. Neots Hunts. Successors to the old and celebrated Founders Newcombe, Watts, Eyre and Arnold of Leicester. Names of high repute dating as early as 1560.
  • IV THE GERTRUDE ELLIS BELL RECAST IN MEMORY OF GERTRUDE ELLIS BY HER DAUGHTER FREDA LORRIMER AND HER NIECE KATHLEEN BROWNING 12 May 1937 JOHN TAYLOR AND SON FOUNDER OXFORD AND LOUGHBOROUGH A.D. 1854.
  • III THE BOWMAR BELL RECAST IN MEMORY OF WALTER HAMMOND BOWMAR BY HIS WIFE EVA BOWMAR 12 May 1937 JESU CHRISTE MISERERE NOVIS John Taylor & Son Founders Loughborough A.D. 1854.
  • II THE JOHN EDWARD ELLIS BELL GIVEN IN MEMORY OF JOHN EDWARD ELLIS LAY CANNON, CHURCHWARDEN AND DEPUTY WARDEN OF ST MARTINS BY HIS WIFE MABEL ELLIS AND HIS DAUGHTER FREDA LORRIMAR AND HIS NIECE KATHLEEN BROWNING 12 May 1937 PRAISE GOD FOR BLESSED MARTIN, SOLDIER BISHOP SAINT
  • I THE BELLFOUNDERS BELL GIVEN BY E DENISON TAYLOR BELLFOUNDER LOUGHBOROUGH 12 May 1937

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leicester Cathedral Go Leicestershire
  2. ^ Telegraph news report. Septembert 2012
  3. ^ "Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king's". BBC News. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Richard III set to be buried in Leicester as university makes final decision", Leicester Mercury, 7 February 2013. Accessed 11 February 2013
  5. ^ a b "King Richard III burial row heads to High Court". BBC NEWS. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Richard III remains: Reinterment delay 'disrespectful'". BBC NEWS. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Richard III: King's reburial row goes to judicial review". BBC News. 16 August 2013. 
  8. ^ £2m package to repair cathedrals
  9. ^ Leicester Grammar School Teamwork – Moral & spiritual well being
  10. ^ Leicester Grammar Junior School Who we are
  11. ^ About St Martins House
  12. ^ The spire is a Broach Spire.Arts in Leicestershire
  13. ^ Cathedral Plus – Leicester Cathedral
  14. ^ The Seven Statues of the Vaughan Porch
  15. ^ Leicester Cathedral Guide
  16. ^ Service and Opening Times
  17. ^ Leicester Murcurym 6 July 2012
  18. ^ Diocese of York staff accessed 23 February 2013
  19. ^ BBC News – Faull appointed Dean of York
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ a b c Diocese of Leicester – Monteith installed as Dean
  22. ^ Leicester Mercury – Canon appointed at cathedral
  23. ^ Leicester Cathedral – 2011 Report and Annual Account
  24. ^ Leicester Cathedral Choral Scholarships
  25. ^ Leicester Cathedral Tours
  26. ^ The Boy Choir and Soloist Directory
  27. ^ Launde Abbey website.
  28. ^ Who's who in Music. Fourth Edition. 1962. p.229
  29. ^ Dove, R. H. (1982) A Bellringer's Guide to the Church Bells of Britain and Ringing Peals of the World, 6th ed. Aldershot: Viggers

External links[edit]