St Paul's Pro-Cathedral

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St Paul's Pro-Cathedral
Il-Pro-Katidral ta' San Pawl
St Paul's Pro-Cathedral, Valletta
35°54′1.2″N 14°30′41.5″E / 35.900333°N 14.511528°E / 35.900333; 14.511528
Location Valletta
Country  Malta
Denomination Church of England
Dedication St. Paul
Status Pro-cathedral
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Richard Lankesheer (later adjustments by William Scamp)[1]
Style Neo-classical
Groundbreaking 1839
Completed 1844
Spire height 200 ft (61 m)[2]
Archdeaconry Italy and Malta
Diocese Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe
Province Canterbury
Bishop(s) Robert Innes
Chancellor The Revd Canon Simon Godfrey SSC
Chaplain(s) Fr Jeff Williams
Archdeacon Vickie Sims
Organist(s) Hugo Agius Muscat, MD MSc
Philip Galea

St Paul's Pro-Cathedral (Malti: Il-Pro katridral ta San Pawl) is an Anglican pro-cathedral situated in Independence Square, Valletta, Malta. A "pro-cathedral", is a church with cathedral status, and is one of three cathedrals of the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe.

Origin and construction[edit]

The cathedral was commissioned by the Dowager Queen Adelaide during a visit to Malta in the 19th Century when she found out that there was no place of Anglican worship on the island. Built on the site of the Auberge d'Allemagne (the conventual home of the German Knights Hospitaller), the cathedral was designed by William Scamp and was built between 1839 and 1844. Queen Adelaide laid the foundation stone on 20 March 1839 and her banner hangs above the choir stalls.[3]

Interior of the Cathedral
Landmark tower

A Valletta landmark due to its spire rising over 60 metres,[4] it is constructed with Maltese limestone in a neo-classical style. The cathedral has columns with capitals of the Corinthian order while the capitals of the six columns of the portico are of the Ionic order.[5] The internal dimensions of the building are 33.5 metres x 20.4 metres. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Lady chapel located to the left of the pulpit facing the altar. The cathedral's steeple is a landmark on its own being notably visible in the Marsamxett Harbour.[6]

The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[7]

The White Ensign in St Paul's pro-cathedral


Above the entrance to the cathedral is located the organ that originated in Chester Cathedral in northwest England. The one-manual instrument was built in 1684 by Bernard Smith and is said[who?] to have been played by George Frederick Handel while en route to Dublin for the first performance of the Messiah.

Association with British military forces[edit]

The oak panels around the High Altar are a memorial to the Allied units which took part in the defence of Malta between 1940 and 1943 and twelve flags hang in the aisles representing amongst others the Royal Air Force, the British Merchant Navy, and the Royal Navy.

See also[edit]