There are actually 18 cities in England and Wales without an Anglican cathedral which comes as a bit of a surprise as I learned at school that in order to be a city then a cathedral was required. Equally there thirteen towns with Anglican Cathedrals that do not have city status – just goes to prove that the stuff you learn as a child isn’t necessarily correct…
Your challenge for week 4 is to name as many cathedrals in England and Wales as you can – location rather than which saint is involved – though if you can think of location and exact name please do so!
A cathedral is, of course, the main church in a diocese – or administrative area under the pastoral care of it’s bishop. It is where the bishop has his or her cathedra or throne.
There are three groups of cathedrals. Many cathedrals were once part of a monastic foundation. When Henry VIII closed them down in the 1530s many were re-founded as cathedrals which means that quite often the last prior or abbot of an abbey became a cathedral’s first dean. This kind of cathedral is a New Foundation Cathedral whereas Old Foundation cathedrals were never part of the monastic scene – they were run by secular canons i.e. they were part of the wider world and they were in place before the Reformation. There are nine Old Foundation Cathedrals in England and Wales. The third group are Modern Foundations which were created in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. A cathedral in this group is sometimes called a parish church cathedral. The modern foundations reflect the way in which populations changed due to industrialisation and urbanisation.