Southwark Cathedral

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Southwark Cathedral or The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie, Southwark, London, lies on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge.

It is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark.

The main railway line from London Bridge station to Cannon Street station passes close to the cathedral, blocking the view from the south side. Borough Market and the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass by the river are in the immediate vicinity.


[edit] History

[edit] Saxon and medieval
The nave of Southwark Cathedral

The earliest reference to the site was in the Domesday Book survey of 1086, wherein the "minster" of Southwark seems to be under the control of Bishop Odon of Conteville, William the Conqueror's half-brother. It is unlikely that this minster pre-dates the conversion of Wessex or the foundation of the "burh" before AD 886. There is no proof of Stow's claim that a convent was founded on the site in 606 nor of his claim that a monastery was founded by St Swithun in the ninth century. The Saxon minster was a collegiate church servicing a south Thames area. In 1106, Henry I's reign, the latter became an Augustinian Priory: Norman stonework can still be seen, and Thomas Becket preached here before departing to Canterbury, days before his murder in 1170.

Henry Cardinal Beaufort repaired the church after a 1212 fire. The main structure of the present church between 1220 and 1420, making it the first Gothic church in London.

John Gower was buried there.

[edit] 16th and 17th centuries

Heresy trials occurred in the Galilee chapel in 1555, under Mary I of England.

Shakespeare buried his brother, Edmund, here in 1607. (The Cathedral contains a 19th century large stained glass window dedicated to William, depicting scenes from all of the plays he wrote, at the base of the which is a statue of a reclining William Shakespeare holding a quill.) It was a popular resting place for dramatists - John Fletcher and Philip Massinger are also buried here. Lancelot Andrewes, part-author of the Authorised Version, is buried by the high altar and John Harvard was baptised here.hej

It was from Southwark Cathedral that Czech Wenceslas Hollar drew the "Long View of London" in 1638, a panorama which as become our definitive impression of 17th century London.

[edit] 19th c to present

It was designated as a cathedral in 1905 when the Church of England Diocese of Southwark was created. Its first and longest serving organist was Dr E. T. Cook who would broadcast daily on the BBC radio during the 1920s and 30s.

There is a memorial to the victims of the Marchioness disaster and monuments to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. On 16 Novermber 1996 the cathedral became a focus of controversy by hosting a twentieth-anniversary service for the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans and former bishop-elect of Reading, was Canon Theologian of Southwark. In 2001, Mandela opened a new northern 'cloister' on the site of the old monastic one, with a refectory, shop, conference centre, education centre and museum. These Millennium buildings in 2002 received an award for being one of the best new buildings of the year.

[edit] Other information

The cathedral is used by London South Bank University for its annual honorary degree ceremony and by King's College London for its medical and dental degree ceremonies.

There is another cathedral in Southwark — the Roman Catholic St George's Cathedral Southwark.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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Southwark Cathedral

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