Guildford Cathedral

GC Sign Hi Res BlueThe Cathedral of the Holy Spirit was begun during one of the most turbulent periods of the 20th Century, in the years between the two World Wars.  It is a testament to the generosity of local people and the wider public, it demonstrates the determination of the community to complete the building, which
stand on the Royal ancient hunting ground of Stag Hill, which at one time was a part of Windsor Great Park.

Building work on the Cathedral started in 1936 after an architectural competition which the architect Sir Edward Maufe eventually won.  The move to build a new cathedral came about after the creation of the Guildford Diocese in 1927, after the Winchester Diocese was divided.

Despite the fact that there were no real funds, and a serious economic depression was gripping post war Britain, work began on building the new Cathedral.  But work was stopped during the Second World War and was halted for some time afterwards while building restrictions were in place.

Guildford Cathedral under construction 1950s (ref 1/I/I1/001/165

Guildford Cathedral under construction 1950s
(ref 1/I/I1/001/165)

Once these were lifted and materials were available there was determination amongst the community complete the Cathedral despite the lack of funds.

The Buy a Brick campaign was begun when work started in 1954, it resulted in more than 200,000 ordinary people becoming brick-givers.  Their generosity helped ensure that the completed of what they thought of as ‘their Cathedral’.

The Cathedral – The People’s Cathedral – was consecrated on 17th May 1961 by Bishop George Reindorp in the presence of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Cathedral has remained in use ever since.