Sunday, 2 September 2012
A hidden treasure on the same side of the city as Little Germany, Bradford's Cathedral Church of St Peter provides a little oasis of green gardens and calm space. It started life as a parish church, and lacks the soaring grandeur of many of our cathedrals - but I like it because of that. It is an attractive building with a warm and intimate feel inside. Parts of the building date back to the mid-15th century and the tower was added in 1508 but it only became a cathedral in 1919 when the Diocese of Bradford was created. It was extended in the 1950s and 60s and a major re-ordering in 1987 also freed up space to enable it to cope with the big civic and religious occasions that are part of the life of a cathedral.
It has recently gone though some hard times, caused largely by the collapse of an ambitious but fundamentally flawed project to found a museum of faith in St Peter's House, the old Post Office building which is at the front of the cathedral. That left the cathedral authorities with a mountain of debt which had to be tackled. The former Dean, David Ison, did a great job of steering the church into a much better place. He left earlier this year to take up the post of Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London. Their gain is definitely our loss!