Sitting at the heart of the religious and civic life of the Diocese of Leicester, we at Leicester Cathedral are constantly busy. The links on this page will allow you to keep up-to-date with our activities.
Click here to download the Cathedral's latest weekly news sheet.
A Christmas Message from the Dean
Click on the link below to see a Christmas message from the Very Revd David Monteith:
|DioSing! 'Sing Christmas' CD|
On Saturday 14 December the Cathedral Boys’ and Junior Girls’ Choirs will be joined by over fifty children from schools participating in DioSing! to record a CD of Leicestershire’s ten favourite Christmas Carols, accompanied by Wigston Brass Ensemble, with Simon Headley on the organ.
The same children, trained by Cathedral Choral Directors Katy Dent and Emma Trounson and Director of Music Chris Johns, will be broadcasting the same carols from the Grand Hall of St Martins House as part of BBC Radio Leicester's ‘Sing Christmas’ programme on 23 December at 7.00pm.
|Events to commemorate life of Nelson Mandela|
Events commemorating the life and work of Nelson Mandela are due to take place in
The commemorations take place on Saturday 14 December, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm and will
Following this, a symbolic Walk of Freedom from Nelson Mandela Park to the cathedral will
Starting at about 3.00pm at the cathedral, a short service will include performances by a gospel
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Nelson Mandela’s life was truly an extraordinary
“He really was an example of not just talking the talk, but really walking the walk and setting
“He was a giant of our times, and while these events will commemorate his passing, they will
The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: "Following his release, Mandela’s
"We have seen it is possible to live the best human life and his greatest memorial would be
Organisations involved in the commemorations also include Serendipity Arts - the
Mr Mandela is widely recognised as having been one of the most influential and important statesmen of recent times for his struggle against apartheid, segregation and oppression in South Africa. His revolutionary beliefs took him on an extraordinary journey from being an anti-apartheid activist in the 1950s and 1960s, which culminated in his imprisonment in 1964 on charges of sabotage. He emerged from prison in 1990, and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 andbecame South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999.
Cathedral Crib a Caroling About the County
This Advent the Crib figures of Leicester Cathedral go on tour! The Cathedral Crib consists of half life size oak carved figures of Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, the three Kings, three shepherds, lambs and a stable.
Mary, Joseph and the baby together make the Holy Family and travelled to Frolesworth for their service on the first Sunday of Advent, 1st December. On the third Sunday in Advent, two shepherds and two Kings will join the Holy Family and travel north to St Luke’s, Stocking Farm whilst a King and shepherd will travel east to Christ the King, Smeeton Westerby for two evening services on the 15th at 7.00pm and the 22nd at 4.00pm. After that, Billesdon will welcome the figures at their end of term schools service on 20th December, and then the Holy Family, Kings and shepherds travel west again to Burbage for their candlelit service of Nine Lessons and Carols at 4.00pm on Sunday 22nd December. The scene will be set at Leicester Cathedral ready for the Crib Service at 3.00pm on Christmas Eve to welcome the weary family back to a service of readings and carols with the Cathedral Choir. All welcome.
Traffic Changes to Peacock Lane
A number of changes to the way traffic can use Peacock Lane and St Martins will come into effect from Monday 25 November. Peacock Lane will now be one-way only between New Street and Southgates. The existing one-way system on New Street will be reversed and will now run from Friar Lane into Peacock Lane. There will be no access for vehicles (other than construction traffic) on St Martins, between Peacock Lane and Grey Friars. There will also be no parking allowed on Peacock Lane.
News from the CFCE
Following the submission to the CFCE of plans for reordering and to provide a tomb for King Richard III, the commission have decide to defer their response at the time. They seek more information on key aspects of the scheme which we will seek to provide.
David Monteith, Dean of Leicester says:
Leicester Cathedral recognizes the complexity of the case the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) is having to deal with and therefore understands why, at this juncture, the Commission failed to reach a verdict on our comprehensively researched proposals for a tomb for King Richard III as part of a major reordering of the Cathedral.
We are disappointed but we appreciate that it is rare for a major application of this kind to be approved at the first discussion owing to its complex nature.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission and other partners to find ways forward that command the maximum support, whilst meeting the needs of our working Cathedral for the 21st century.
It is estimated that the works necessary to provide the tomb and its place of honour will take six months, so this development does appear to rule out a reinterment date before summer 2014 at the earliest.
We have also consistently stated that final decisions must await the outcome of the Judicial Review and we fully respect that legal process. We remain committed to continuing our collaborative preparations to prepare for a dignified and timely re-interment of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral, with the prayers of the church.
Work to Begin on Cathedral Gardens
Work is set to begin on a £2.5 million project to transform an area at the heart of Leicester’s Cathedral Quarter.
The construction contract for Cathedral Gardens and the reconstruction of nearby Peacock Lane and St Martin's has now been awarded, and work is due to begin on site from Monday, November 11.
Please note: Completion on Cathedral Gardens is due in April 2014. During this time, there will extensive building and landscaping work taking place outside the Cathedral - we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Canon John Seymour on the Theology Blog
Canon John and Margaret Seymour have been attending the Cathedral regularly now for over two years. John has a long experience of ministry in this diocese, but sadly for health reasons he has had to decline the invitation to preach on occasion. Nevertheless, he has agreed to provide some reflective contributions to our Theology Blog. Responses and comments would be welcomed; please do visit the blog to see what John - and occasionally others - has to offer for us.
Tomb Design Application to Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England
The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England were due to
deliberate on Thursday 24 October on our application for permission for the
designs for a tomb and place of honour for King Richard III.
GodTalk 2: Responses to the Economic Crisis
GodTalk 2, a conference considering matters relating to the current economy, was held in St Martins House on Thursday 3rd October. Canon David Jennings, Convenor of conference, writes:
"GodTalk2 sounds like a sequel to GodTalk1, which in fact it was. The brand is based upon the principle of finding and engaging in conversations which relate to an understanding of God that is relevant and applicable to the contemporary context. GodTalk1 looked at how language functions in discourse about God in a variety of situations; GodTalk2 addressed the pressing issue of the current economic crisis upon the lives of the poor. About seventy people, from around the country, gathered in St Martins House on 3rd October to give consideration to what is a critical issue for the Church and others.
"The day began with appropriate welcomes from the Dean and the Bishop. This was followed by a personal description of poverty and the impact of present government policies upon the lives of people from the Easterhouse estate in Glasgow, by the onetime Professor of Social Policy at Bath University, Bob Holman, now a community worker in Easterhouse, working from the local Baptist Church. It was a moving and harrowing account of suffering, ordinary people. Baroness Professor Ruth Lister, formerly of Loughborough University and the Child Poverty Action Group, gave an insightful and detailed lecture on the impact of the economic crisis for varied cohorts of the population. The facts detailed by Ruth belie much contemporary government rhetoric about the impact of welfare changes. After lunch, the conference was joined by Margaret Hodge MP who, as chair of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, was able to give insight into a variety of schemes and programmes operated by major corporations and individuals to avoid paying due and proper tax in the UK.
The issue was one of fairness, and clearly significant revenues lost to the exchequer have an adverse impact upon the nation’s finances and the supposed necessity for austerity measures. The conference was then able to divide into small groups for further discussion and consideration of the issues raised by the speakers, before reconvening to listen to Bishop Peter Selby, former Bishop of Worcester, present a detailed and biblically based lecture about the nature of money, its significance and utilisation for the good of society.
GodTalk conferences are premised on the principle that theological discourse should be rooted and experienced within the common life of society. It is hoped that GodTalk3 will continue this hermeneutic."
An ecumenical report from the free church
group of Methodists, URC, Church of Scotland and Baptists is available below:
UPDATE: Dean's Discussions Tuesday 15th October 2013
In a change to the advertised schedule, the upcoming Dean's Discussion in Leicester Cathedral on Tuesday 15th November will feature special guest Deirdre O'Sullivan (Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology), whose presentation is entitled Friars and Towns: The Archaeology of the Medieval Mendicants, and will examine the context of the life of the Greyfriars, who inhabited the friary where King Richard III was buried.
Work on Cathedral Gardens begins in October 2013, with completion due in April 2014. During this time, there will extensive building and landscaping work taking place outside the Cathedral - we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Stone fit for a King
The detailed designs for the tomb of King Richard III were revealed today, as planning permission is sought for the design . The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England will review the plans and is expected to make a decision by late October.
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens said: “I am proud to support the
Cathedral in continuing to progress its responsibility to prepare for the
reinterment of King Richard while the judicial process continues. Our Cathedral
deserves our prayerful support during this exciting and challenging time”.
Dr Phil Stone, Chair of the Richard III Society, described the design as "utterly inspired'.
A Video Update from the Dean
The Very Revd David Monteith talks viewers through the more detailed plans for the reordering of Leicester Cathedral, announced on Thursday 19 September 2013 in a special video available
Prayer Vigil for Antoin Akpom and Shehnila, Zainab, Bilal and Jamal Taufiq
A prayer vigil for Antoin Akpom and Shehnila, Zainab, Bilal and Jamal Taufiq was heldon Friday 20 September, 6.00 - 7.00pm
at St Peter's Church (2 St Peter's Road, Highfields, Leicester LE2 1DA).
Leicester Cathedral Flower Festival
The Leicester Cathedral Flower Festival officially opened to the public on Friday 13 September, with Timesh Patel - the youngest of six apprentices currently undertaking a year long placement with the Diocese of Leicester - cutting the ribbon. David Jennings, Chair of the Flower Festival, said: “The arrangements are truly stunning and beautify our Cathedral. The theme of "loyalty binds me", Richard III’s motto, gives an important context to the festival.”
With over £8,000 raised and more than1,500 visitors over the four days we can only conclude that it was a resounding success. Special events included Poetry and Music from the Cathedral Chamber Choir and BBC Radio Leicester’s John Florance, and a Last Night of the Proms style concert with the John Cleveland College Orchestra
Leicester Cathedral would like to thank all who supported and attended the Flower Festival.
Leicester Cathedral begins change
The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith has issued a short video explaining the changes that we plan to make to welcome King Richard lll to his final resting place. It can be seen on Youtube and the Diocesan Website:
You will be able to see the scale of changes planned for the area around the Cathedral as well as inside, as well as hearing why David Monteith believes it is important to have a place of dignity and honour within the place of worship.
The remains of Richard III will be buried with honour beneath a raised tomb within a specially created area in the Cathedral, it has been announced.
Leicester Cathedral is planning to spend around £1 million on the reinterment, which includes alterations to the building, preparations for the event and the ceremony itself.
Plans for King Richard's final resting place will see a series of changes to the inside of the Cathedral to create a significant space for the raised tomb, with a new floor, special lighting and new stained glass windows.
There are several possible designs for the tomb, which are being developed by van Heyningen and Haward architects, on behalf of the Cathedral, and a working party that includes representatives from the Richard III Society, the University of Leicester and the City Council.
© van Heyningen and Haward
The plans to date were shared with a series of organisations yesterday (Wednesday, July 17) and will be refined over coming weeks ready for submission to the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE). Final approval is expected by November. Speaking after seeing the plans Dr Phil Stone, The Chairman of the Richard III Society was delighted. “I think that the design is absolutely fantastic” he said.
The Dean of Leicester, The Very Revd David Monteith, said the plans were influenced by feedback from a variety of sources, including members of the public who had been visiting the Cathedral and commenting in the media.
"We are committed to reinter King Richard with honour and we have listened carefully to the different views that were expressed. We want to create a really wonderful space in the Cathedral for him and the many thousands of people we know will want to come to visit and pay their respects.
The Bishop of Leicester, The Rt Revd Tim Stevens hopes the plans will please everyone involved. "This is an immensely complex project and we are determined to get it right. Inevitably that means considerable expense but we are confident that with the support of the Church and the public, we can honour Richard and his story."
Final details are still to be decided, but the reinterment will be the climax to a week of events celebrating the city’s history, the discovery of the King’s remains and the fact that Leicester is to be his final resting place.
The City Council is planning a series of events during the week of the reinterment. City Mayor Peter Soulsby is fully involved. "Leicester was the backdrop to King Richard's final days and became the location of his grave, so we are now proud and honoured that the Cathedral in the heart of the old town will be the place for his final reinterment.
"This amazing chapter in the story of Richard III's life, death and rediscovery has been a partnership between the City Council, the Cathedral and the University of Leicester. The reinterment itself will be another historic moment which we want to share with the nation, which we hope will join us in celebrating this unique occasion."
Professor Sir Bob Burgess, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: "We are proud of the archaeology team that found the remains of King Richard lll and we are confident that the reinterment plans being developed by the Cathedral will be a fitting climax to this remarkable journey."
The Cathedral and the Diocese of Leicester have revealed for the first time the scale of the project. A series of working groups are tackling different aspects of the challenge – including the changes that need to be made to the fabric of the Cathedral. Groups are also working with the City Council, the University of Leicester and the Richard lll Society to create events around the re-interment. Words and music for the services and the interpretation of King Richard’s life and death and its relevance to modern life, form a key strand of work. A fund raising group is working on ways to create the best possible experience for the City, County and the nation.
Leicester Cathedral responds to statement from Plantagenet Alliance
Leicester Cathedral have this week announced our preliminary plans for the tomb, and its location within the church, that will mark the permanent resting place for the mortal remains of King Richard III in the Cathedral from next year. We have engaged in discussion about this with many individuals, societies and institutions over these past months and are unaware of any attempt made by the Plantagenet Alliance over that period to engage in dialogue or discussion with us. It is the Alliance who have brought the threat of litigation into the situation, by their application to the courts to request Judicial Review.
Meanwhile the Cathedral are planning, along with many others, to comply with the law as expressed in the licence issued by the Ministry of Justice. We are concerned to do this in a timely and appropriate fashion and have therefore sent a letter to the court requesting consideration of expedition of the Alliance’s request.
The Cathedral note that the Judicial Review may consider the process involved in the issuing of the licence but cannot make determinations about other matters, in particular about the final outcome of that decision. Therefore Leicester continues to plan to ensure that the King is buried with dignity following the requirements of Her Majesty’s Law and in compliance with the best archeological and ecclesiastical practice. We look forward to welcoming the whole country from north, south, east and west to visit the place where the King will at last lie in dignified peace.
For more information contact
Leicester Cathedral has called for the judicial review into the reinterment of Richard III to be speeded up.
A submission from the Dean of Leicester, the Very Reverend David Monteith, to the national Administrative Court requests that the process should be expedited and the case heard as soon as possible.
The Dean said today: “We are proud to have the privilege to re-inter Richard III and we are working to ensure this is done in a timely manner that honours him as befits both his Kingship and his humanity.
"We know the University of Leicester has a very strong case to defend the challenge to the terms of the licence and we feel it should be heard at the earliest opportunity."
The judicial review follows a challenge by an organisation called the Plantagenet Alliance against the licence granted to the University that says any human remains from the Greyfriars dig should be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.
The Loveliest Leicestershire White Rose
The judging of the competition to find the Loveliest Leicestershire White Rose took place on 6th July, and what a beautiful rose it was!
The winning bloom was grown and arranged by Claire Jackson of Thurmaston, who was thrilled with her prize of £100 of vouchers from Coles Nurseries (one of her white rose plants came from there!) She is particularly looking forward to being a guest of honour at the memorial service on 22 August where she will place white roses on the memorial stone in the way that has been done each year. Claire was "surprised and delighted to have won the prize of a place at the memorial service".
The judging panel (pictured) consisted of Canon Barry Naylor (Urban Canon), James Coles (Coles Nurseries) and Josie Hutchinson (BBC Radio Leicester Gardening Expert). Barry Naylor said, "Judging was difficult. All the entries were excellent but all three of us judges agreed Claire’s rose was a most worthy winner!"
Each rose entered into the competition came with its own unique story. These included: The story of love from a rose that was a Valentines gift to a couple who are now married; the story of the mediaeval-looking rose with an exquisite scent that was most possibly over 400 years old; and then there was the rose came only because the arranger, Rosie, had fallen victim to a vicious rose thorn in her foot on the eve of the competition.
Leaving a white rose near the memorial of King Richard lll has become a tradition in Leicester Cathedral, particularly around 22 August, the date of his death, when the Cathedral will be holding a special service.
The weekend of 29th and 30th June saw the ordination of 16 new priests and deacons to the Diocese on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June. Those ordained priest were Natalie Andrews, Jema Ball, Linda Cox, Andy Humm, Louise Petheram, Hilary Surridge, Jonathan Surridge and Helena Whitaker; those ordained deacon were Pauline Ashby, Jackie Bullen, Stuart Cocksedge, Ros Cooper, John Sami Lindsey, Rob Marsh, John Owens and Simon Rowbory.
Alyson Buxton, Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Ely, preached at both services, which were followed by refreshments and jazz music in the Cathedral precincts, in glorious sunshine.
Artists Engaged for Richard III Projects
It was announced last week that two artists have been commissioned to work on special projects for the reinterment of Richard III, which is planned to take place next year.
Textile artist Jacquie Binns (right, top) will design the pall which is to cover the King’s coffin. Jacquie has worked with numerous churches and cathedrals, including St Paul’s Cathedral, and impressed the panel with the expressive character of her embroidery and her use of texture, which is almost three-dimensional.
Thomas Denny (right, bottom) has designed stained glass windows in churches across the country, including Hereford Cathedral and Malvern Priory. He will design two new windows in St Katharine’s Chapel.
The Very Revd David Monteith said: "Our teams are working extremely hard to prepare for King Richard’s interment. These commissions will ensure that work of the highest quality with enduring artistic merit worthy of a ‘city of culture’ will inspire our visitors as they come to the place where the King is finally laid to rest."
David Monteith Installed as New Dean of Leicester
The Very Revd David Monteith was installed as Dean of Leicester at a service of installation and celebration at Leicester Cathedral on Saturday 18th May.
As Dean of Leicester, David will have oversight and leadership of the
Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese which spans the city of Leicester
and county of Leicestershire. The Cathedral is increasingly seen as a key
institution in the life of the city and county, and David has indicated his
desire for the Cathedral to lie at the heart of the civil and religious life of
Leicestershire, offering generous hospitality and an imaginative witness to
God’s love at the heart of our community. One of the first activities for David
on taking up this new role will be to visit the offices and distribution centre
of FareShare, one of the charities which the Cathedral and Diocese supports, to
see the progress made towards helping the many who are short of food within our
community at this time of welfare cuts and economic challenge. Perhaps the
highest priority for David on taking up the role of Dean will be the planning
of the events for the re-interment of King Richard III.
Above: The Very Revd David Monteith
New Faces on the Cathedral Clergy Team
The day after the installation of David Monteith as the new Dean of Leicester, 3 more members of the Cathedral clergy team were licensed at the Eucharist service for Pentecost Sunday. These posts will remain in place until May 2014, by which time the appointment of a new Canon Chancellor is likely to have been made.
Pete Hobson, formerly Director of St Martins House, has been seconded to the Cathedral Team as Acting Canon Missioner. He comes with masses of project experience and he will add considerably to our capacity and diversity, and will concentrate on Richard III, and Cathedral Gardens as well as assisting with the liturgical and preaching load. He will also maintain an involvement with the outreach work in the south wing of St Martins House.
Alison Adams who has recently retired as Chaplain at Glen Parva was licensed as Diocese and Cathedral Social Responsibility Enabler, working 4 days per week as a Non-Stipendiary Minister, primarily working with Pete on matters relating to Richard III.. Working with the City and County on Richard III will enable her to establish lots of networks for her longer term work in Social Responsibility.
Finally, Julie Ann Heath was formally licensed as Cathedral Chaplain, to remain in post until May 2014.
Above (l-r): Revd Pete Hobson,
Revd Alison Adams,
Revd Julie Ann Heath
New Dean of Leicester Announced
The Bishop of Leicester, The Rt Revd Tim Stevens is
pleased to announce that the next Dean of Leicester will
be The Revd Canon David Monteith. David is currently
the Canon Chancellor of Leicester Cathedral.
Leicester Cathedral Design Brief for the Reinterment of Richard III
On 12 March Leicester Cathedral Chapter agreed the design brief
to go to the architects who will be design the full scheme for the grave of King
Richard lll. This brief should be read with the accompanying explanatory
questions and answers. If photographs are reproduced please include the
copyright information in the Appendix.
Leicester Cathedral Design Briefing for Reinterment of Richard III
At 12.00 noon on Wednesday 13 March Leicester Cathedral will publish the Design Brief that will be given to the architects who have been selected to provide a scheme to reinter King Richard III in an appropriate way. The date follows a meeting on 12 March at which the Cathedral Chapter will finalise the details of the brief including the recommendations of the Fabric Advisory Committee which met recently.
University Confirms Richard III Found
It was announced at a press conference held on Monday 4 February that DNA tests performed by the University of Leicester had confirmed without doubt that the human remains found beneath the Greyfriars car park in September 2012 are indeed those of King Richard III, the last in the line of the Plantagenet monarchs.
In a statement made at that press conference, Canon David Monteith said:
“On behalf of the Bishop and Acting Dean of Leicester, I want to say how very thrilled we are to be part of this amazing day. We are delighted with today’s news. We at the Cathedral and Diocese share in the pride of serving such a great city as ours which still has the capacity to reveal such incredible stories.
“We applaud the skill, expertise and excellence of Leicester University which have led to this announcement. This has been a partnership from the start with the City Council, the University and the Richard III Society and we have been very pleased to co-operate with all the parties involved. I can confirm that the Cathedral have now received letters from both the City Council and Leicester University to further enact the requirements of the Licence which led to the exhumation of these human remains.
"This is a momentous day for our city and nation. We will now formally begin preparations and plans at Leicester Cathedral for an interment. Meanwhile we will be praying that through God’s love, King Richard III with all the departed may rest in peace and rise in glory.”