Middlesbrough Cathedral

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Saint Mary's Cathedral, Middlesbrough
Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
Middlesbrough Cathedral.jpg
Saint Mary's Cathedral, Middlesbrough is located in North Yorkshire
Saint Mary's Cathedral, Middlesbrough
Saint Mary's Cathedral, Middlesbrough
Shown within North Yorkshire
Coordinates: 54°31′22″N 1°12′50″W / 54.52277°N 1.21378°W / 54.52277; -1.21378
OS grid reference NZ509144
Location Middlesbrough
Country England
Denomination Roman Catholic
Website middlesbroughrccathedral.org
Dedication Saint Mary the Virgin
Consecrated 1998
Status Active
Functional status Cathedral
Previous cathedrals Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Sussex Street
Architect(s) Frank Swainston
Groundbreaking 3 November 1985
Diocese Middlesbrough
Province Liverpool
Bishop(s) Terence Patrick Drainey
Dean Very Rev. Monsignor Canon Gerard Paul Robinson
Canon(s) Very Rev. Monsignor Canon Gerard Dasey, Fr Philip Cunnah
Pastor(s) Fr Philip Cunnah
Director of music Tim Harrison
Organist(s) Craig Cartwright

Saint Mary's Cathedral, also known as Middlesbrough Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, England. It is the see of the Bishop of Middlesbrough, who is ordinary of the Diocese of Middlesbrough in the Province of Liverpool.[1]


The original Cathedral Church of Our Lady Of Perpetual Succour was built from 1876 and was opened on 21 August 1878. It was situated on Sussex Street, in the old St.Hilda's district of Middlesbrough.[2] At the time, the church was located within the Diocese of Beverley as the diocese of Middlesbrough did not exist until December 1878. It was initially built not as a cathedral, but as a church that could hold 1,500 people to serve the people of Middlesbrough.[3]

The first bishop of Middlesbrough, Richard Lacy was consecrated there on 18 December 1879.

In August 1984, news reports stated that the cathedral had structural problems and may have to be pulled down. As it was a Grade II listed building, any demolition was officially blocked.[3] The shifting population of the town at the time also meant the cathedral had become more and more isolated. A new cathedral building was therefore required to replace the original. The new Saint Mary's Cathedral was built in the suburb of Coulby Newham, in the south of Middlesbrough, with building work commencing in November 1985.

The old cathedral was gutted by fire in May 2000[4]. The fire was supposedly started by a group of children playing inside the building, which was by then already in a significant state of disrepair.[3] Due to the extensive fire damage and risk of further collapse, the building was demolished soon after. The site is now the location of the Middlesbrough headquarters of Cleveland Police.[5]

Saint Mary's Cathedral[edit]

The original architect of the new cathedral at Coulby Newham was Frank Swainston, who died just after the outline plan had been agreed upon. His assistant Peter Fenton developed the detailed drawings and designed the cathedral furnishings. All this he brought to completion with the advice of J.O. Tarren and Professor Patrik Nuttgens.[6]

The foundation stone was blessed on Sunday 3 November 1985 by Augustine Harris, Bishop of Middlesbrough, who went on to consecrate it in 1998.

The cathedral is a modern, light building similar in some ways to the Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool. The building complex includes the sanctuary, the nave, the Blessed Sacrament chapel, the sacristy, the church hall, the narthex (the entrance porch) and the campanile.[7] There is also a repository where devotional aids, rosary beads, cards, and the like may be purchased. It was built to match the liturgical changes decreed by the Second Vatican Council. The council asked that all new churches should have an altar that is clearly visible to all and a liturgy that is audible to all.


  1. ^ Diocese of Middlesbrough: St Mary's Cathedral
  2. ^ "Our first Cathedral". Saint Mary's Cathedral. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Remember When, gazettelive.co.uk
  4. ^ "Our First Cathedral". Middlesbrough Diocese Website. Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Middlesbrough District HQ". Cleveland Police. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  6. ^ St Mary’s Cathedral, Middlesbrough from Catholic Church in England and Wales accessed 6 April 2013
  7. ^ "Saint Mary's Cathedral". Saint Mary's Cathedral. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 

External links[edit]