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Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (usually shortened to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool, England. It replaced the Pro-Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Copperas Hill. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool, the mother church of Liverpool's Catholics, and the metropolitan church of the ecclesiastical Northern Province.
In 1853 Bishop Goss awarded the commission for the building of a new Roman Catholic cathedral to Edward Welby Pugin (1833-1875), the son of Augustus Welby Pugin the joint architect of the Houses of Parliament and champion of the Gothic Revival. By 1856 the Lady Chapel of the new cathedral had been completed on a site adjacent to the Catholic Institute on Saint Domingo Road, Everton. Due to financial restrictions work on the building ceased at this point and the Lady Chapel now named Our Lady Immaculate served as parish church to the local Catholic population until its demolition in the 1980s.
Following purchase of the present 9-acre site at Brownlow Hill in 1930 Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) was commissioned to provide a design which would be an appropriate response to the Gilbert Scott-designed Neo-gothic Anglican cathedral then emerging at the other end of Hope Street. Lutyens' design would have created a massive classical/Byzantine structure that would have become the second-largest church in the world. It would have had the world's largest dome. The foundation stone for the new building was laid on 5 June 1933, but again financial restrictions caused the abandonment of this plan after construction of the crypt.
The new cathedral, designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd and consecrated in 1967, was built on land adjacent to the crypt. Its circular plan was conceived in direct response to the Second Vatican Council's requirements for a greater and more intimate integration of the congregation with the clergy.
"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations " Second Vatican Council 1962-1965
Chapels are built in between the buttresses that support the tent-shaped spire (which represents the crown of thorns of Jesus) like tent poles. A short film, Crown of Glass, documents the construction of the cathedral's rainbow-coloured stained glass windows.
The cathedral stands on the site of the Liverpool Workhouse, on Hope Street. Facing it at the opposite end of Hope Street is the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, the city's Anglican cathedral. (Ironically, Lutyens was an Anglican, while the architect of the Anglican cathedral, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was a Catholic.)