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Cathedrals of the Church of England

Director's Choice

Janet Gough



A cathedral is the mother church of a diocese, the seat of a bishop. Together, the English cathedrals of the Church of England constitute one of the world’s great achievements in architecture.

My book features the history, architecture and treasures of each cathedral, including six original version of Magna Carta. The reader is brought up to date with life and events in the cathedrals today, most recently the re-interment of King Richard III in Leicester cathedral.

Supported by the Cathedrals team at the Church of England and Dr Angus Ledingham, it has been a great privilege for me to visit each of the Church of England’s cathedrals.

I’ve criss-crossed England by train (including Settle to Carlisle in the snow), and visited with the family and dog, and soon I will walk the one-day pilgrimages set up by the British Pilgrimage Trust to each cathedral. Always chapter staff and volunteers have been welcoming and informative. There have been huge thrills – I’ve been upfront with the eighth-century St Chad Gospels and Lichfield Angel – and moments of contemplation, and best of all has been attending Morning Prayer and Choral Evensong with the cathedral communities. Everywhere I’ve been struck by the huge activity and energy in our cathedrals today.

I hope this small, portable book, illustrated with eye-catching photographs and a bite-sized introduction to each of our cathedrals, will inspire you to visit too.


Author information

Canon Janet Gough OBE was formerly Secretary of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and Director of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England. She is the author of several Scala titles including Director’s Choice: Churches of the Church of England and Deans’ Choice: Cathedral Treasures of England and Wales.