Mother Church

Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist

Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth

The Cathedral was built in 1882 to accommodate Portsmouth's rapidly increasing congregation of Roman Catholics.

The new church was opened for worship in August 1882 and was immediately made the Mother Church of the new Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.

The Cathedral was completed in four phases: 1882, the nave; 1886, the crossing; 1893, the chancel; 1906 the narthex and west Porch. The Cathedral was badly damaged when enemy bombing in 1941 destroyed Bishop's House next-door. Since restoration in 1950's the inside of the Cathedral has been re-ordered three times: in 1970, 1982 and 2001.

The Cathedral may be described architecturally as 19th century French Gothic because it has a curved apse and shallow transepts. The Church is built of Fareham Red Brick with Portland Stone dressings. Most of the stained-glass windows sustained some bomb damage in 1941, especially those over the High Altar. The round window in the south transept was the only one not damaged. An elaborate baldacchino surmounting the high altar was removed in the 1970 reordering.

The last part to be built was St. Patrick's Chapel in 1924.