Learn more about the different areas of our amazing building...
The Cathedral's Nave (known as the Well) is a lowered area of the Cathedral where on formal occasions the Chapter will process from. On one side of the well you have the great West Doors above which is Tracy Emin's installation. This is dwarfed by the magnificent Benedicite Window. Facing into the Cathedral you can see the central space through the arch of the Dulverton Bridge. The Well is often used for exhibitions (including Icons in Transformation in early 2010), events and occasions.
The magnificent central space of the Cathedral stretches east from the bridge towards the choir and the high altar. The central space dominates your view of the Cathedral and its enormity gives an impression of the Cathedral architect's vision of our relationship with God. In the centre of the floor stands a memorial to the architect, Giles Gilbert Scott.
The first part of the Cathedral consecrated for worship was the Lady Chapel, in the south eastern corner of the main building.
Wheelchair users are able to enjoy a grand view of the reredos and principal windows from a balcony directly opposite the altar.
This position also gives a good vantage point for seeing the newly restored window depicting the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, which was storm damaged and almost collapsed on the 8th January 2005.
- The Chapel's style is more elaborate than the main body of the Cathedral, reflecting different approaches by the architect and his team.
- Ornately carved lettering runs around the walls, with the verse from St. John’s Gospel (ch 3:16):
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
- A beautiful 15th Century statue of the Virgin Mary by Giovanni Della Robbia is cited in its sanctuary along with complementary statuette, commissioned via a donation in 2005, ‘Babe in Swaddling Clothes’ as the focus for Mary’s gaze.
- There is a strong sense of tranquillity in the Chapel, encouraging visitors to sit for a period of quietness, prayer or reflective contemplation.
- The Chapel has its own organ (built by Henry Willis and Sons) and is regularly used for worship, weddings (subject to Archbishop of Canterbury's limitations and conditions), and funeral services.
- The portrait windows of noble women on the west wall of the Chapel are famous. Restored after the Second World War, they show women from different areas of life, including local heroes like Kitty Wilkinson, helper of the poor and Agnes Jones, a devoted nurse as well as nationally known figures such as Grace Darling, Elizabeth Fry and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
- A celebration marking the Centenary of its completion was held in June 2010, when archive material never before seen by the public was on display.
In adopting this unusual octagon shape for the Chapter House, whose foundation stone was laid in 1906, Scott replaced his own original design which followed the larger lines, size and shape of the Lady Chapel. It was erected by the Freemasons of West Lancashire in memory of the first Earl of Lathom.
On 16th October 2006, the then Bishop of Warrington, the Right Reverend David Jennings, commissioned this area, next to the Chapter House, to be the Children’s Chapel during a special service of thanksgiving and prayers.
Jesus drew children close to Him because he loved and valued them. In the same way, the Cathedral, through the work of the Education Centre and this designated area, proclaims our commitment to children and families, future generations and individuals in need of comfort.
This intimate chapel did not form part of the original Cathedral design, but was added by the separation with a stone screen, and refurbishment of, a former open access point in the North Choir Aisle after the main building opened, fulfilling a desire for a place of quiet solitude for prayer and meditation.
It was entirely funded by founder member, and Executive Chairman of the then Cathedral Committee, Sir William Forwood and the Chapel was screened off in such a way that the grandeur of the main building could still be experienced by those who used it.