• Short Summary

    The world's newest Roman Catholic Cathedral will be opened in Liverpool this Sunday. Work started?

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    Anglican cathedral; Roman Catholic cathedral various shots of interior and exterior showing plaques, frescoes; altars; windows; spire, organ and steeple.

    Initials AB/VS/JF/BB

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The world's newest Roman Catholic Cathedral will be opened in Liverpool this Sunday. Work started on it in 1928 -- but the final inspiration for its architectural shape came from the space age.

    The cathedral cost GBP4 million sterling with most of the money being raised by subscription. The new cathedral was first envisaged in 1853 when Bishop Goss commissioned a design. The Lady Chapel was opened three years later -- and then the money ran out.

    The cathedral project was revived in 1928 under the leadership of another bishop, Dr. Richard Downey. He laid the foundation stone and celebrated the first Mass in the partially completed crypt. But again work stopped -- this time because of World War II.

    Work on the cathedral started again five years ago around the original crypt where Dr. Downey lies buried. The new Cathedral -- known to most of Liverpool as "The Rocket" because of its design -- hold 2,020 people. They can all be seated around a central altar, hewn from a 19-ton block of white marble found in Yugoslavia. It is the largest piece of marble ever to have been imported into Britain.

    The cathedral is cylindrical in shape with 16 flying buttresses leading into a conical roof which supports a tower of coloured glass and concrete. Sixteen pinnacles thrust upwards from the tower, 310 ft (115 metres) above the ground.

    The designer of the new cathedral -- the Cathedral of Christ the King -- is Mr. Frederick Gibberd, an architect who has never designed a cathedral before. His design was chosen from among hundreds that were submitted in response to an appeal.

    The new cathedral makes a start contrast with the city's Anglican cathedral -- situated at the other end of a street called Hope Street. The Anglican cathedral is built in the Gothic style.

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