|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
|Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury|
Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral
|Diocese||Portsmouth (since 1927)|
|Canon(s)||David Isaac, Head of Mission & Discipleship
Nick Ralph, Head of Mission & Society; Social Responsibility Adviser
|Canon Pastor||Michael Tristram|
The Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth, commonly known as Portsmouth Cathedral, is the Church of England cathedral of the Diocese of Portsmouth, England and is located in the heart of Old Portsmouth. It is the seat of the Bishop of Portsmouth.
The Anglican cathedral is one of the two cathedral churches in the city, the other being the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth which is located about one mile to the north.
Around the year 1180, Jean de Gisors, a wealthy Norman merchant and Lord of the Manor of Titchfield, gave land in his new town of Portsmouth to the Augustinian canons of Southwick Priory so that they could build a chapel "to the Glorious Honour of the Martyr Thomas of Canterbury, one time Archbishop, on (my) land which is called Sudewede, the island of Portsea". This chapel was to become, in turn, a parish church in the 14th century and then a cathedral in the 20th century. Of this original building the chancel and transepts remain.
The church survived a French raid in 1337 but, in 1449, the Bishop of Chichester was murdered by local sailors. The town's inhabitants were excommunicated and the church was closed. In 1591, Elizabeth I worshipped in St Thomas's Church. In 1642, during the English Civil War, the church was bombarded by Parliamentarian forces. From 1683 to 1693, the old tower and nave were taken down and replaced by a new nave, aisles and west tower.
Between 1902 and 1904, the church was closed for restoration work to be carried out. In 1927, the Diocese of Portsmouth was created and the church became a cathedral, the second one in Portsmouth, as the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist had already opened in 1882. In 1932, Sir Charles Nicholson, 2nd Baronet published plans to enlarge St Thomas's and the work started. However, with the Fall of France in June 1940 during World War II, work on the extension scheme stopped and was not recommenced until 1990 which left a hastily thrown-up plain brick wall at the end of the west end of the nave. However, as the building had been used for many years without its extension, it was quite usable and there was no urgency to finish the work. An appeal, nevertheless, was launched in the 1960s with Field Marshal Montgomery at the helm but, unusually, it failed to produce, by a substantial margin, sufficient funds for completion of the extension. By the mid 1980s, however, the "temporary" brick wall was found to have become unstable and in danger of collapse, which made the completion work pressing. The nave was originally intended to be longer, in the traditional style of an English cathedral, but the changing needs of the diocese meant that the building was finally built with a foreshortened nave, the final west wall being located close to where the temporary structure had been. In 1991, the completed building, much smaller than the original plans envisaged, was consecrated in the presence of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
The central tower contains a ring of 12 bells, which were cast at Taylor's Bell Foundry at various dates. They are hung in the wooden octagonal part of the tower.
In 2005, Prince Andrew, Duke of York unveiled a plaque to the 111 British servicemen killed in the British naval and air-force action in the Baltic in 1919, which led to freedom for the Baltic States. This was a duplicate of one already in the Estonian capital of Tallinn and later another was unveiled by the Duke of Edinburgh in the Latvian capital of Riga.
In 2013 the Cathedral launched the Cathedral Innovation Centre and movement intended to create jobs and launch new firms.
The Cathedral Choir consists of men and boys who sing at five services each week. David Price is the Organist and Master of the Choristers and Oliver Hancock has been the Sub-Organist from September 2012. David Price has taken the post of directing the youth choir, Cantate, from September 2011.
The Parish Choir sings at the Parish Eucharist on Sunday mornings and was directed by William Drakett before Oliver Hancock took over in September 2012.
- 1930 Mr Pease
- Hugh Davis
- 1978 David Thorne
- Rosemary Field
- 2005 Marcus Wibberley
- 2012 Oliver Hancock
Dean and chapter 
- Dean – The Very Revd David Brindley (since November 2002 installation)
- Canon Pastor – The Revd Canon Michael Tristram (since 16 February 2003 installation)
- Canon Precentor – The Revd Canon Nicholas Jepson-Biddle (since 7 February 2010 installation)
- Head of Mission & Discipleship (Canon Residentiary) – The Revd Canon David Isaac (Canon residentiary since 1990)
- Head of Mission & Society; Social Responsibility Adviser (Canon Residentiary) – The Revd Canon Nick Ralph (since 22 November 2009 installation)
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Portsmouth Cathedral|
- Official site
- Cathedral Innovation Centre
- Flickr images tagged Portsmouth Cathedral
- 32 Cathedral Images With Descriptions