There are few venues more particular and interesting than Manchester Cathedral. With a long history of over 600 years, it has undergone countless reconstructions, extensions, and repurposing throughout its lifetime. It’s been marked by social and political changes, wars and pandemics, but remains a symbol of peace and resistance. What’s more, besides being an inclusive church, the Grade I listed landmark also hosts various music programmes and events, including the unique Candlelight tribute concerts to some of the greatest names in contemporary music and the music of yesteryear.
Situated on Victoria Street in the heart of the city centre, the Cathedral is surrounded by busy shops and buzzing offices. You can’t miss a visit to Manchester Cathedral, because it’s also very easily accessible. The nearest Metrolink stations are Manchester Victoria and Exchange Square.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Manchester Cathedral
1. The Cathedral was affected by the Manchester Blitz of 1940.
On 22 December 1940, a German Luftwaffe landmine destroyed the northeast corner of the Cathedral, severely damaging the cathedral roofs and demolishing the medieval lady chapel and James Stanley’s chantry chapel and blowing out all the stained-glass windows.
2. The Manchester Collegiate Church was the scene of the first-ever public meeting of the campaign to abolish the slave trade.
In 1787, abolitionist Thomas Clarkson visited Manchester, where he met fellow critics of the transatlantic slave trade, including Thomas Walker and Thomas Bayley. He was invited to preach a sermon at the Collegiate Church, which since 1847 has been called Manchester Cathedral. It helped to galvanise support in the movement to abolish slavery.
3. Admission is free.
The Cathedral is open Monday through Saturday from 9.30am – 4pm and Sundays from 12pm – 4pm. Visiting the cathedral is free. However, if you’re feeling extra generous, donations are always welcome. There is also a suggested donation of £3 to help support the maintenance costs of the Cathedral.
Manchester Cathedral’s stunning architecture will shine bright under the beautiful candlelight, with its Gothic features, stained glass windows and gold detailing. Despite the grandeur of the building, the shows will still have an intimate ambience, an ideal accompaniment to the music. From timeless composers and iconic film scores to legendary artists and supergroups, performances will take place surrounded by ancient details and modern stained glass fittings. Bringing the old and the new together, these candlelit concerts celebrate some of the greatest musicians of all time.
What else can you do at Manchester Cathedral?
Manchester Cathedral has had a great connection with music, from its fourteen life-sized minstrel angels to the various music programmes they offer. With its Children’s Choir and Volunteer’s Choir, anyone who wants to develop their singing voice can join in, regardless of age. What’s more, every Saturday the Cathedral hosts Coffee Concerts, where talented musicians perform in a heavenly setting, followed by cakes, tea and coffee.
Located in the city center, Manchester Cathedral is a Manchester landmark and a symbol of the city’s history. It is a beautiful grade I-listed building, a hotspot for community members and also an amazing venue for live music performances due to its wide nave and excellent acoustics. It provides the perfect setting for talented musicians to recreate the works of great composers, modern-day icons, and unforgettable film scores.
Candlelight seeks out the most unique venues around the world to shine a new light on classic compositions and contemporary classics. And there’s no better venue than Manchester Cathedral. The concerts have been met by countless 5-star reviews, and guests have called it “a creative, enchanting, and new concert experience.”