'C. H.' Liverpool Correspondent
AT eight o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, January 2, 1962, building operations will begin on the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral designed by Mr. Frederick Gibberd, C.R.E.
This is the fourth cathedral designed for Liverpool, and it is just 108 years since a fund was started by Bishop Goss, the third Bishop of Liverpool, for that purpose.
There is every reason to expect that the cathedral will Ise completed by 1966. This firm hope was expressed by Archbishop Heenan in September, when he forecast that building would begin in the spring of next year. Now that date has been advanced three months.
To facilitate building operations the Crypt, which has served as the cathedral for the past three years, will close after the last Mass on New Year's day. It will be out of use until Easter. Alternative arrangements for services will be announced later. The Crypt also served as the university church and was largely patronised by undergraduates on weekdays.
On Sunday. the feast of Christ the King, the Archbishop will pontificate at High Mass at four o'clock. Immediately afterwards the scale model, made by the architect in the past six months and costing several thousand octunds, will he on view in the neighbouring cathedral hall. This will be the first opportunity for the public to see it and it will remain on display throughout November. It is also hoped to be able to show the BBC film of the interview with Mr. Gibberd televised several months ago. No tickets of admission are required.
The rapid progress of the building to completion in four years has now presented an urgent financial problem. When the competition was announced in 1959 it sought a design costing no more than a million pounds to he completed in ten years. At that time the building fund stood at about half a million. The annual income averaging £50,000 would helve provided the remainder within the period. Before the end of the year the Archbishop intends announcing his plans to raise the necessary capital.
The first cathedral of St. Edward was designed by Edward Welby Pugin in 11153; the second. dedicated to Christ the King, by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1931, and the third by Mr. Adrian Gilbert Scott in 1956. The design of Mr. Frederick Gibherd, architect of London Airport and Harlow New Town. was declared first in the competition on August 15, 1960.