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Northampton Roman Catholic Cathedral

Cathedral in Northampton

Few Northampton residents know that the town has a Cathedral ! The Grade II building on Barrack Road is the “mother church” of the Catholic Diocese of Northampton, which includes Beds, Bucks, Milton Keynes and Slough as well as Northamptonshire. When the first small chapel was built on this site in 1825, it was out in the fields and orchards well north of the town, and was partly intended to serve the Catholics among the soldiery based here and at Weedon. The site was part of lands formerly owned by St Andrew’s Priory, a short distance south, from where St Thomas Becket famously escaped during his trial by Henry II in 1164. Thus, the first small Catholic chapel, using stones from the long-demolished priory, was also called St Andrew’s. It is still partially visible, having been attached to the later building as the Sacristy, between the Cathedral and the 1825 Presbytery. The present Cathedral is the result of several further stages of building. In 1844-45 a proper Cathedral nave, named for the East Anglian Saint Felix, was built by A W Pugin, principal architect of the Gothic Revival in Victorian RC churches. In 1864 Pugin’s son Edward designed the larger western extension, with an apsidal end where the Sanctuary was unusually placed for many years. (Drawings record a much more ambitious plan for a grand spired church: sadly for Northampton’s skyline, the necessary land and money were not available.) In 1959 the older Pugin nave was demolished and the present eastern end, transepts, squat tower and elevated sanctuary were built in Stamford brick to the design of A Herbert. Further interior modifications were made in the mid-70’s and in 1998, including the impressive triptych by Stephen Foster. It is not the largest of cathedrals, even among the Catholic ones, but has a solid dignity and a clean, light interior. Other highlights of the interior are 19th-century stained glass depicting several local saints, including Crispin, patron of shoemakers; a modern stained glass window by J Nuttgens in the Blessed Sacrament chapel; a brass memorial plaque to the late-Victorian Bishop Amherst: original pews, and an original altar in the Sacristy. The frontage onto Barrack Road features an attractive stone grotto. The Presbytery has a lovely secluded garden behind it, with many mature trees, much used for hospitality. South-east of the cathedral and fronting onto Marriott Street is the handsome 1885 ironstone Bishop’s House. There are plans for a state-of-the-art meeting, social & visitor centre on the north of the Cathedral site, which will be a local-community facility.

Please refer to the Glossary for any terms in the text that you are unfamiliar with.

Contact & Opening Times

Barrack Road , Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN2 6AG


http://www.northamptoncathedral.org.|
[email protected]|

Opening Times

The cathedral is open to visitors and those seeking an opportunity for peace and prayer from 8am until 5:30pm each day, with an evening service at a later time.

 

During Mass (times as below), visitors are asked to be respectful of the services going on.

 

Sundays – 08:30, 11:00, 17:15

Mondays – 19:00

Wednesdays – 09:30

Thursdays – 09:30

Fridays – Holy Hour, 11:00 - 12:00, Mass 12:15

Saturdays – Confessions 17:00, Vigil Mass 18:00

 

The church lies close to a Country House which offers a restaurant and is open to the public. For opening times, please look at the Historic Houses section of our website under Delapre.

 

Contact Details

Any problems, please contact the parish office (open 09:30 - 14:00) - 01604 714556

Email: [email protected]

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