from St Anne's

Preparing to Celebrate our 120th Anniversary on 2nd June 2024

Belfast Cathedral - Preparing to Celebrate our 120th Anniversary on 2nd June 2024

Sunday 2nd June, 2024 will mark the 120th Anniversary of the Consecration of the Nave of St Anne's Cathedral in 1904 with two Special Services of Celebration and Thanksgiving.


At 11.00am we shall share in a Civic and Community Service of Thanksgiving.

At this service the Mayor and Councilors of the City of Belfast will be joined by politicians, civic and community leaders from the world of commerce and the voluntary sector, representatives from  Belfast's two Universities, and Church Leaders.

This will be a great choral service of Morning Prayer at which both the Bishop of Connor and the Bishop of Down and Dromore will be present. The guest preacher at this morning service will be the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Reverend John McDowell, himself a son of Belfast.

Within the service there will be an act of dedication for the 500 new cathedral chairs which installed in the nave. These new chairs will replace the original, less than comfortable, wooden chairs which have stood the test of time for the past 120 years. Many of our new chairs have been given in memory of those whose lives and faith have inspired and guided within the life of the cathedral and parishes across the dioceses. The application form to donate a new chair is found at the foot of this posting.

The new chairs mark the beginning of the BC120 Campaign to finance new developments which will secure the future of St Anne's Cathedral

This Civic Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving is open to all to attend.


And at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon 2nd June, all are invited to:

A Eucharist of Thanksgiving to Mark the 120th Anniversary of Belfast Cathedral.

Just as happened 120 years before on Sunday 2nd June 1904, the clergy of every parish in the Dioceses of Connor and of Down and Dromore are invited to join their two bishops for this afternoon celebration. Each of the parishes has also been invited to bring up to 10 members of their own congregation to represent the parishes at the afternoon service.

To mark the importance of this day, a special anniversary communion setting has been composed by the renowned young composer, Lucy Walker. Lucy Walker is composer in residence to the St Martin's Singers, based at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London. The new setting will be sung by the Belfast Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Master of Music, Jack Wilson, who commissioned this setting to be written.

This service is also open to all.

Belfast Cathedral was the first cathedral of the Church of Ireland to be planned, constructed and consecrated after Disestablishment in 1870. The cathedral was built to serve the great industrial city of Belfast and the province which the city served.

Since then, St Anne’s Cathedral has witnessed twelve tumultuous decades, from the launch and sinking of RMS Titanic, to the slaughter of the First World War, from the creation of Northern Ireland and the funeral of Lord Edward Carson, to the Blitz of Belfast which came so close to destroying St Anne’s. In the post war era our cathedral witnessed the expansion of the city of Belfast, the dividing of the Church of Ireland dioceses of Down and Dromore from Connor, visits from Royalty, and the forty long years of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Across 103 years successive Deans succeeded in building the cathedral to become the iconic and spiritual space that it is today, crowned with the spectacular Spire of Hope. And for the past 48 years across the generations, St Anne’s Cathedral has been known as “the home of Black Santa.”

With these two anniversary services the congregation of St Anne's Cathedral, along with the Cathedral Chapter of Canons, and the cathedral's many friends will be joined by civic, church, political and community leaders to celebrate 120 years of ministry and Christian witness to the City of Belfast and across the province which St Anne’s was built to serve.




BC120 Chairs Donation Form Download