Middlesbrough Cathedral

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Saint Mary's Cathedral, Middlesbrough
Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
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
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

The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, usually 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, not Stainton Way, where the new one is now. At the time, the diocese of Middlesbrough did not exist, instead there was the Diocese of Beverley, so it was built not to be a cathedral but a church that could hold 1,500 people and serve the people of Middlesbrough.[2]

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

In August 1984, news was reported that the cathedral had structural problems and might have to be pulled down. As it was a Grade II listed building, any demolition was officially blocked.[2] A new cathedral would have to be built to replace the structurally dangerous old one.

The old cathedral burnt down in May 2000. The fire was supposedly started by a group of children playing inside the building which was already in a significant state of disrepair.[2]

Design and construction[edit]

The original architect 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.[3]

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. 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. ^ a b c Remember When, gazettelive.co.uk
  3. ^ St Mary’s Cathedral, Middlesbrough from Catholic Church in England and Wales accessed 6 April 2013

External links[edit]