Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
|Christ Church Cathedral|
|Cathedral Church of Christ|
Crossing tower and spire from the cloisters
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Diocese||Oxford (since 1546)|
|Canon(s)||George Pattison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity
Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology
Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History (Lay)
Angela Tilby, Diocesan Canon
Christ Church Cathedral is the cathedral of the diocese of Oxford, which consists of the counties of Oxford, Buckingham and Berks. It also acts as chapel for Christ Church College at the University of Oxford. This dual role as college chapel and cathedral is unique in the Church of England.
|This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2015)|
The cathedral was originally the church of St Frideswide's Priory. The site is claimed to be the location of the abbey and relics of St Frideswide,[by whom?] the patron saint of Oxford, although this is debatable.[weasel words]
In 1522, the priory was surrendered to Cardinal Wolsey, who had selected it as the site for his proposed college. However, in 1529 the foundation was taken over by King Henry VIII. Work stopped, but in June 1532 the college was refounded by the King. In 1546, Henry VIII transferred to it the recently created see of Oxford from Osney. The cathedral has the name of Ecclesia Christi Cathedralis Oxoniensis, given to it by King Henry VIII's foundation charter.
There has been a choir at the cathedral since 1526, when John Taverner was the organist and also master of the choristers. The statutes of Cardinal Wolsey's original college, initially called Cardinal College, mentioned sixteen choristers and thirty singing priests.
Christ Church Cathedral is often claimed[by whom?] to be the smallest cathedral in England, and although it did once hold this distinction[when?] there are now smaller cathedrals, as several parish churches were elevated to cathedral status in the 20th century.
The nave, choir, main tower and transepts are of the late Norman period. There are architectural features ranging from Norman to the Perpendicular style and a large rose window of the ten-part (i.e., botanical) type.
Dean and Chapter
- Dean – Martyn Percy (since 4 October 2014 installation)
- Sub-Dean – Ed Newey (since 3 August 2013 installation)
- Regius Professor of Divinity (Canon Residentiary) - Graham Ward
- Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity (Canon Residentiary) – Carol Harrison (since 27 April 2015 installation)
- Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology (Canon Residentiary) – Nigel Biggar (since 6 October 2007 installation)
- Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History (Canon Residentiary) – Sarah Foot (since 6 October 2007 installation)
- Continuing Ministerial Development Advisor (Diocesan Canon) – Angela Tilby (since November 2011)
First among the notable organists of Christ Church Cathedral is the Renaissance composer John Taverner, who was appointed as the first organist by Cardinal Wolsey in 1526. Other organists (and directors of the choir) have included Basil Harwood, Thomas Armstrong, W. H. Harris, Simon Preston, Francis Grier, and Nicholas Cleobury. The post of Organist is currently held by Stephen Darlington. (As in many English cathedrals, the Organist is director of the choir, and much of the organ-playing is actually delegated to the Assistant Organist or Sub Organist.)
|This section requires expansion. (March 2013)|
The main choir, the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, consists of 12 men (6 professional "lay-clerks" and 6 student "academical clerks") and 16 choristers (boys aged 7 – 13), and is directed by Stephen Darlington. They sing in university term time, at Christmas and Easter, and have an extensive touring and recording programme.
Former choristers include the composer Sir William Walton.
The Cathedral Singers consists of volunteers and is currently directed by John Padley. They are usually in residence outside of term time when the choristers and academical clerks of the main choir are on holiday.
The college choir sings every 1–2 weeks in term time and is made up of current undergraduates and postgraduates from the college.
- Robert Burton (author The Anatomy of Melancholy)
- George Berkeley, philosopher and Bishop of Cloyne (his memorial is in the nave)
- John Fell, Bishop of Oxford
- Henry Gage (1593–1645), buried in the Lucy Chapel off the south transept
- Henry Liddell, father of Alice Liddell
- John Locke, famous philosopher
- Lady Elizabeth Montacute
- John de Nowers
- George Stewart, 9th Seigneur d'Aubigny, Cavalier
- Thomas Strong, Bishop of Oxford
- John Underhill (bishop)
- John Urry
- Peter Wyche, ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and member of the Privy Council
- List of cathedrals in the United Kingdom
- Christ Church, Oxford: more information on the College and the Cathedral
- Christ Church Cathedral School
- Bishop of Oxford
- Diocese of Oxford
- Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England
- English Gothic architecture
- Romanesque architecture
- Church of England
- Christ Church Cathedral — Miscellany, Archive.org, 2004.
- Christ Church – Appointment of new Sub Dean
- Anglican Communion News Service – American Canon to English post
- Christ Church – Welcome for Canon Professors
- National Pipe Organ Register Oxford Cathedral
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.|
- Christ Church Cathedral website
- Christ Church Cathedral Choir website
- Oxford Cathedral information
- A history of the choristers of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
- Sacred destinations photo gallery