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1/2. The Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Liverpool. Building began in 1933 and completed in 1967.
3. The Anglican Liverpool Cathedral. Building began in 1904 and completed in 1978.
I don't know what possessed the catholics to accept Frederick Gibberd's concrete edifice as their 'mother church' for northern England other than a vain glorious attempt to out-modernise themselves? Known locally as 'Paddy's Wigwam', it's easy to imagine it housing Thunderbird 3 or home to a nuclear missile silo. The architectural design and fascia materials used to construct the cathedral are, in my opinion, just plain wrong. Unless it really does house Thunderbird 3. Then, wow!
Beneath the Cathedral is Sir Edward Lutyens designed brick lined crypt. A marvel of retro-design, but still a waste of space much like the edifice that sits atop it.
On the other hand, just down the road and as described by its own literature, 'Visit Britain's biggest Cathedral - the largest Anglican Cathedral in Europe and fifth largest in the world! Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's awesome 20th century masterpiece with its staggering architecture will make your jaw drop'. And they're not wrong. It is stunning.
However, both are 'follies in my opinion and, disappointingly, simply showpieces of misplaced religious fervour and grandstanding on a scale that shames common sense and decency. Although free at the point of entry, they have the audacity to charge to see the 'attractions'.
I am not religious in the ways the established church of any denomination would have me be, but I love small traditional parish churches for reflecting local traditions, craftsmanship, family continuity and a sense of community that is sadly fading all to fast these days. Churches are places for quiet thought and contemplation, of family, of life, peace, and often sanctuary from the travails of everyday life. They are not for thoughts and acts of ostentatious gratification, corruption, greed, incestuous or abusive behaviour, which continue to mock, ridicule and defile the loyalty and faith of ordinary honest parishioners. So no I'm not a religious conformist.
7th May 2012, 18:41