A series of celebratory events are planned from May to November 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in 1967. The Cathedral is one of the country's most iconic symbols of faith, worship and community, hosting over 30 services a week. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Liverpool and also one of Liverpool's major civic buildings and a world-class visitor attraction, welcoming over 350,000 visitors a year.
The Cathedral was consecrated on the Feast of Pentecost and a weekend of major events, including a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving, a floral tribute and a Golden Jubilee Dinner, is planned from Friday 2 June to Sunday 4 June when the Feast is celebrated this year. There will be opportunities for the whole city of Liverpool to get involved and many of the events will be free to attend. In addition, major musical events will be organised around that time, and celebrations will continue until the Feast of Christ the King on Sunday 26 November.
Canon Anthony O'Brien, Dean of the Cathedral, says: "This will be a very special year in the life of our Cathedral as we mark this golden milestone of our history in a building that means so much to so many people. Although relatively young in cathedral terms, we have so many wonderful memories to give thanks for and so many opportunities to look forward to. I hope as many people as possible will join us for many of the wonderful events that we have planned this year and help us make this a truly celebratory 50th anniversary."
Special celebrations at the time of the Golden Jubilee include:
Bluecoat presents Pierre Henry: The Liverpool Mass
A pioneer of musique concrète, Pierre Henry is known worldwide for developing electronic music. He was commissioned to compose the music for the Cathedral's inaugural Mass in 1967; however it was not completed and another work substituted it. In a unique collaboration between the French composer and Bluecoat Chambers, which celebrates its 300th anniversary this year, the piece – structured as a traditional Catholic Mass – will be staged in full, with a new sound design, at the Metropolitan Cathedral on the evening of Saturday 13 May.
Cathedral Life: A Floral Tribute
This free event will see the Cathedral transformed into an oasis of calm and beauty, as florists decorate the main space and chapels in an array of scent and colour, themed around Cathedral life. It will run from Friday 2 June to Monday 5 June.
Golden Jubilee Dinner
This will take place in the Metropolitan Cathedral's breathtaking Lutyens Crypt on Saturday 3 June. A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public.
Solemn Jubilee Mass of Thanksgiving
This Mass at 11am on Sunday 4 June, the Feast of Pentecost, will be attended by Crosby-born Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Celebrant will be Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool. All are welcome to attend.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra presents 'Gloria!’ conducted by Sir James MacMillan CBE
A rare opportunity to hear Liverpool's world-famous orchestra perform in the unique surroundings of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Sir James MacMillan CBE is undoubtedly the most high-profile composer of religious music in the country today. The orchestra will be joined by leading tenor soloist Ian Bostridge, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir for a glorious evening of music on Saturday 10 June.
The Golden Jubilee marks an important milestone in the Cathedral's young history, offering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to the achievements of the Cathedral and its community over the past 50 years, while also refocussing and galvanising support in preparation for the next 50 years and beyond.
Plans are still being finalised and groups and organisations are encouraged to contact the Cathedral should they wish to collaborate. The Cathedral is particularly interested to hear from people who have memories or photographs of the Cathedral from its 50-year history. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Individual announcements and updates will be made throughout the year.
The Metropolitan Cathedral's Jubilee Celebrations will be part of 67-17: 50 Summers of Love, a season of events and performances taking place across Liverpool to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love.
A history of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool