First World War Tours

First World War Tours

To commemorate the Armistice Centenary, join us for a time-limited tour exploring the role of the Leicestershire Regiment and the impact the War had on the Parish of St Martin’s.

12.00pm and 3.00pm

Available from Friday 9 to Saturday 17 November 2018 (apart from Sunday 11 November).

King Richard III Tours

11.00am and 2.00pm

Tours are approximately 30 minutes long.

Tickets for each tour are £3.50 per person, with free admission for accompanied children under 16A free guidebook is included in the ticket price.

All tours subject to availability.

Enquire in the Cathedral or ring 0116 261 5362.

Leicester’s Homelessness Charter launched at the Cathedral

The Bishop of Leicester, the Dean of Leicester, Leicester’s City Mayor and Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner have joined forces to launch Leicester’s Homelessness Charter.

The charter aims to improve the way organisations and individuals work together to tackle homelessness in the city, and to harness the enthusiasm of those who want to get involved but don’t know how.

More than 100 people from charities, the voluntary sector, local businesses and statutory organisations attended the launch, which took place at Leicester Cathedral at 2pm today (Monday 29 October 2018).

The Rt Revd Bishop Martyn Snow, Sir Peter Soulsby, and Lord Willy Bach, launched the charter by signing a pledge committing their organisations to support the aims of the charter.

The Rt Revd Bishop Martyn Snow said: “This is all about working together with the different groups within Leicester who have expertise on this issue for the good of people who experience homelessness. I am delighted that the Diocese of Leicester has been able to host and facilitate the development of this charter so that we all work together in genuine partnership to meet the needs of individuals at the heart of all we do.”

Sir Peter said: “The city council has a five year action plan to prevent and tackle homelessness in the city and we are spending more than £5 million a year to deliver this, working closely with many of the organisations here today. We know there are many other people working with energy and passion to support those experiencing homelessness in our city, and look forward to working with them to achieve our common aim.”

Lord Bach said: “There are many reasons why people are homeless including ill-health and drug or alcohol abuse. Sometimes it can be the result of crime and other times people turn to crime to try and survive.  Society, public services and businesses need to work together to help people out of a revolving sequence of events that results in homelessness.”

It was also signed by the Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, and by many of those attending, including representatives from the University of Leicester, Highcross Leicester, and faith groups. People who have themselves experienced homelessness took part in the event and have contributed to consultations on the charter.

Leicester’s Homelessness Charter is signed at Leicester Cathedral

The charter provides a vision, values and principles that can be shared by all of those working to prevent homelessness in the city, and to support those affected by it. It aims to reduce duplication, improve communication between those working with homeless people, and to raise awareness of services and how the public can help.

A draft charter was developed by a group comprising representatives from Leicester City Council, Action Homeless, SoundCafe Leicester and the Church of England’s Diocese of Leicester, people who have experienced homelessness and practitioners who all met to share their thinking and all recognising the need for a charter.

As a next step, many attendees at the launch have signed up to join identified action groups around particular aspects of homelessness, with dates already fixed for the first meetings. People experiencing homelessness will be involved in this work.

A website will shortly be created, which will track progress and enable other individuals and organisations both to pledge their support and to join in in practical ways. This will mean organisations working together and others perhaps lending expertise or giving of money and time.

A copy of the charter is available here:



More information on how people can support the Charter is available by emailing

Planet – Politics – Peace

The season from September to November is titled ‘Planet – Politics – Peace’ and covers a variety of events connected to the liturgical year and other themes. Over this period of time various events and services explore the question of how faith and action hang together and influence each other.

We begin by celebrating Creationtide, an ecumenical and international initiative from 1 September to 4 October. We reflect on God’s gifts in creation and the challenges arising from the dominium terrae, that God has given human beings ‘dominion over the works of your hands and put all things under their feet’ (Psalm 8). The season concludes on the day Francis of Assisi is commemorated. Francis, patron saint of ecology and the environment, is remembered for his advocacy of poverty and simplicity, as well as his love of all God’s creatures.

Being entrusted with the care of God’s creation is anything but political in times of environmental crises like plastic pollution and climate change. Historic occasions like the centenary of suffrage and the Armistice at the end of World War 1 pose their own focal points within the bigger question of how God wants us to exercise our care for his creation and how God calls us to live in a complex and unfinished world.

The Reverend Canon Dr Johannes Arens, Canon Precentor

Services and Events


Tuesday 16 October

19.30   Young Farmers’ Harvest Service
All welcome.

Thursday 25 October

18.30   Guild of St Martin Dinner
Tickets for £85/70 available from the Cathedral Office. Guest Speaker: Professor Michael Wood; compère: Monica Winfield.

Friday 26 October

18.30   Cathedral Community Dinner
Tickets for £10 available from the Cathedral Office.

Monday 29 October

13.00   Poetry Workshop with Dr Mary Ann Lund
Exploring the link between poetry and the First World War. Free entry, all welcome.

18.30   That They May Have Life: The First World War and the Founding of the University of Leicester
All are welcome to a lecture given by Elizabeth Blood on how WWI led to the creation and founding of Leicester’s first University.

Tuesday 30 October

18.30   Home and Away
All are welcome to a talk hosted by the St Philips Centre, asking the question ‘how do we live well when we see the world differently’.

Saturday 3 November

13.30   SoundCafé Remembers
All are welcome to a SoundCafé sing-a-long of war-time songs to mark the Armistice Centenary.

19.00   Music and Light: A Concert of Indian Classical Music
Tickets for £10 (concessions £8) are available from Eventbrite.

Sunday 4 November

15.00   Choral Evensong with the Installation of the Archdeacon of Leicester
Installation of Richard Worsfold. All welcome.

Monday 5 November

13.00   Lunchtime Concert: Samuel Ali, Organ
From the Royal College of Music. Free admission, all welcome.

17.30   Requiem Eucharist
All are welcome to a special Eucharist for All Souls’ Day. The Cathedral Choir will sing Fauré’s Requiem.

Saturday 10 November

09.00   Diocesan Lay Congress
Please note that the Cathedral will be closed to the public until 16.00.

Sunday 11 November

16.00   Service to Commemorate the end of the First World War
All welcome.

Monday 12 November

13.00   Lunchtime Concert: Stoneygate School
Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo by Joseph Horovitz. Free admission, all welcome.

Tuesday 13 November

18.30   Interactive Session on Diwali
Run by the St Philips Centre. All welcome.

Monday 19 November

13.00   Lunchtime Concert: Esther Arens (Soprano), Mike Dewis (Baritone) and David Cowen (Piano)
Excerpts from the Italian Songbook by Hugo Wolf. Free admission, all welcome.

Thursday 22 November

12.30   Buy a Lunch, Give a Lunch
In aid of Cathedral outreach and The Bridge. Tickets available from the Cathedral Office.

Sermons on the Theme

The combining thread throughout this season is the question of faith and action. How does my faith (or vision, values) influence my actions? To this end, Sunday Eucharist guest preachers will preach on a theme linking to ‘Planet – Politics – Peace’ as below.

There But Not There

9 October – 13 November 2018

All of us are used to war memorials, but during this period of time a number of transparent silhouettes will take up seats in Leicester Cathedral, representing some of the fallen of the First World War. This is part of an exhibition on the impact of the war on the community of the former parish of St Martin’s (now Leicester Cathedral) which is exemplary for other communities in the wider country.

Extensive research by local historian Elizabeth Amias has been done on biographical information for those who lived here, those who went to war, those who died, those who returned alive and all of those who had to live with what this has done to us. All are welcome to the opening of the exhibition with an introductory talk by Elizabeth Amias on 9 October, 6.30pm (see page 4).

For more information on the silhouettes, please visit

Below you can see the seasonal booklet – pick one up in the Cathedral now!

Planet – Politics – Peace Booklet 2018

Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Canon Chancellor at the Cathedral announced

The Bishop of Leicester is pleased to announce the appointment of the Revd Canon Paul Rattigan, Canon for Discipleship at Liverpool Cathedral, to the combined role of Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Canon Chancellor at Leicester Cathedral. The date of Paul’s installation will be announced in due course.

Bishop of Loughborough, the Rt Revd Guli Francis-Dehqani – whose role includes that of Sponsoring Bishop, overseeing and supporting the vocations of those called to ordained ministry – also welcomed Paul’s appointment. Bishop Guli said: “I’m very excited about working with Paul who combines a real love for Cathedral ministry with a passion for vocations. He will be a great asset to the team here in Leicester and we’re looking forward to welcoming him.”

The Very Revd Dean of Leicester, David Monteith, said: “A third of Paul’s time will be spent on Cathedral educational work. He will bring much experience in this area. As we welcome Paul, we pray he will thrive and help us become more of ‘a beating heart for city and county.”

Paul, who is married to Anne and has a daughter who lives with her family in Nottingham, has himself spoken of his connections to the Midlands and his commitment to both cathedrals and vocation.

He said: “Vocations and discipleship have long been a passion of mine. Cathedrals are a more recent love but no less important in my calling to this new role. I grew up in the Midlands and then went to university where I studied various subjects before moving to Liverpool to teach maths and psychology. It was here that my call to ordained ministry crystallised and I was ordained in 1995 at Liverpool Cathedral.

“Since then I have served in various parishes from inner city to suburbia in both Birmingham and Liverpool. I was delighted to return to Liverpool five years ago to become Canon for Discipleship but surprised to find myself at the cathedral which is not my background at all. Since then cathedrals have gotten under my skin and I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to focus on discipleship.

“Having been involved in careers guidance before ordination, I quickly became part of the vocations team during my curacy and have continued this for over 20 years. Firstly becoming Examining Chaplain, then Diocesan Vocations Adviser and currently a BAP adviser as well as working closely with St Mellitus North West. Therefore, when I saw this post where I could more fully serve within the vocations field as well as keeping my love of cathedrals and discipleship going I felt a definite call to this post.

“There are changes currently going on within the discernment and training for ordained ministry and new ones for the future. I am looking forward to being part of a newly formed team, walking with people, as together we discern what God is doing in their lives.

“I will be sad to leave Liverpool and our friends but my overarching impression of Leicester, and the people I met during the interview process, was how hospitable everyone was. I am very excited about getting to know new friends and a new area.”

The Revd Canon Paul Rattigan


Seeking views on a Homelessness Charter for Leicester

As homelessness increases nationally, the local Church of England, City Council and organisations working with people who are homeless, are joining forces to develop a Charter aimed at tackling the issue.

A draft Homelessness Charter is out for consultation until 7 September 2018. You can read the draft charter and submit your comments by clicking here.

It aims to establish principles and values which will enable people and organisations to work together better to tackle homelessness, trying to prevent it happening as well as providing more support for those affected by it.

The Charter will also provide a framework for improvement in the way different groups and organisations support people who are homeless or sleeping rough; enabling change; raising awareness; providing advice and developing a more co-ordinated approach.

In November last year a targeted campaign was carried out under the principles of the European End Street Homeless Campaign to provide more detailed information and insight about those who were currently or had rough slept in the last six months. This included a survey of people sleeping outside in Leicester or using night shelters.

Some of the findings can be seen in the Ending Street Homeless Survey, carried out by De Montfort University, which can be seen here:

Information gathered from the survey, and from the city council’s five-year Homeless Strategy, has been used to help shape the Charter.

Discussions started in January when the Church of England at St Martins House Conference Centre in Leicester, brought together a forum made up of a range of agencies including, the Police, the Red Cross, the Y Centre, One Roof Leicester and Street Pastors.

This forum commissioned a small working group comprising representatives from Leicester City Council, Action Homeless, SoundCafe Leicester and the Church of England’s Diocese of Leicester to take forward the idea of a Charter.

The Revd Canon Alison Adams, Chair of the homeless forum working group, said: “We invite all interested parties, whether individuals or groups, to read this draft Charter and respond to this consultation.

“We will review the outcomes of the consultation, hear peoples’ views including those of people directly affected by homelessness, explore what other cities are doing with regard both to tackling homelessness and developing a Charter which brings organisations and individuals together to support and contribute to tackling homelessness. Hopefully, we will be able to launch a finalised Charter at an event in late autumn 2018.

“I hear many people seeking to understand better and asking what they could do to make a difference. This Charter will establish principles and values and enable people to work together better to tackle homelessness.”

Cllr Andy Connelly, Asst City Mayor for housing said: “There are many different groups and individuals across the city offering support to people who are homeless and people sleeping rough. We welcome the creation of a charter which aims to bring together all those who are working to reduce and resolve this in our city.”

St Martins Lodge

St Martins Lodge, just opened in October 2018, offers 28 fully en-suite double and twin bedrooms of luxurious accommodation within a fully renovated Grade ll listed building opposite Leicester Cathedral and within the historic Greyfriars area, just yards from the spot where the remains of King Richard III were discovered in 2012.

Many bedrooms offer unrestricted views of the Cathedral and its beautiful Gardens, adjacent to the King Richard lll Visitor Centre, St Martins House Conference, Wedding and Events Venue, and the Guildhall.

Breakfast for overnight guests will be served in the White Rose Café.

St Martins Lodge is operated by the same team as St Martins House Conference Centre, which is an activity of the Church of England Diocese of Leicester.

For further information, visit

Guests arriving to stay at St Martins Lodge should check in at the Reception of St Martins House.

Car parking for guests at the Lodge is available in the adjacent New Street Car Park (access via Southgates and Friar Lane).

For further enquiries, enquire at St Martins House Reception by ringing 0116 261 5200.

Portrait of King to go on show in city of his resting place

AN ICONIC portrait of King Richard III will go on display at Leicester’s New Walk Museum next summer, thanks to a new initiative by the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The gallery’s Coming Home project is loaning works depicting famous people to the places they are most closely associated with – which means that the late 16th century portrait of Richard III by an unknown artist will be loaned to the city of Leicester in 2019.

The portrait – which measures around 25” x 18” – shows a head and shoulder view of the King, who appears to be placing a ring on the little finger of his right hand.

News of the loan comes as Leicester’s King Richard III Visitor Centre celebrates its fourth birthday.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “The remains of King Richard III were discovered in Leicester and reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in 2015, so it’s fitting that this prestigious portrait is ‘coming home’.

“This oil painting is one of the primary portraits of King Richard III, so it’s an image that will already be familiar to many people in Leicester – especially those who have been to our visitor centre.

“We are delighted that New Walk Museum will be part of this project and we’re very grateful to the National Portrait Gallery for making this loan possible.”

The Coming Home initiative will see 50 portraits from the national collection travel to towns and cities across the UK.

A portrait of William Wilberforce – who led Britain’s campaign to abolish slavery – will go on display in Hull, the place of his birth, David Hockney’s Self-Portrait with Charlie will be shown at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in the artist’s hometown of Bradford, while a photographic portrait of Sheffield-born athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill will go on loan to Museums Sheffield.

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Every corner of the UK has well known faces who have played a significant role in our nation’s history. I am delighted that 50 of these famous figures will be returning home so that current generations can be inspired by their stories. We are determined to ensure that more of the UK can see some of our world-class art collections, and with thanks to the National Portrait Gallery, Coming Home is an exciting first step in the right direction.”

The National Portrait Gallery has been collecting portraits of men and women who have made a significant contribution to British life and history since 1856.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: “We hope that sending portraits ‘home’ in this way will foster a sense of pride and create a personal connection for local communities to a bigger national history; thus helping us to fulfil our aim of being truly a national gallery for everyone, in our role as the nation’s family album.”

Coming Home is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, by generous contributions from The Thompson Family Charitable Trust, and by funds raised at the gallery’s Portrait Gala in 2017.

Picture caption: King Richard III by Unknown artist, late 16th century © National Portrait Gallery
Press release written by Leicester City Council.

Video: Joy as 18 new Priests and Deacons are ordained

Saturday saw the ordination of ten Priests at Leicester Cathedral, while on Sunday it was the turn of eight new Deacons. Both sets of ordinations were conducted by the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Revd Martyn Snow, with the Bishop of Loughborough, Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Deqhani, the preacher on both occasions.

The video above, created by the Diocese, celebrates the new Priests and some of the new Deacons have been featured in videos on the Diocesan Facebook pages in the weeks leading to this year’s ordination weekend.

After the ordinations Bishop Martyn said: “I am so encouraged by those who offer themselves for ordination in God’s church. For all of them, it has been a long journey, often with many setbacks and challenges, but at the moment of ordination there is such a sense of affirmation and joy. I hope that joy will be infectious across the diocese.”

Families, friends and representatives of their church fellowships supported each newly ordained person and all enjoyed celebrations in the sunshine after each service in Cathedral Gardens.

You can see photos and read about each of our newly ordained men and women and where in the Diocese they will be serving on the Orders of Service on the Diocesan page here.

The Diocese of Leicester’s new Priests are pictured underneath artist Arabella Dorman’s striking “Suspended” installation. Made from discarded clothing left by refuges who have arrived by sea on the Greek Island of Lesbos, it will be in the Cathedral until 28 August with a variety of activities and workshops which all hope to prompt visitors to consider the experience of refugees as individuals, each precious to God.

You can find out more about the public events, which include a talk by the artist on 4 July, by clicking here.

Leicester Cathedral reveals outline plans for new development

Proposals for the most significant building development of Leicester Cathedral for at least 80 years are being published today and are open for public comment.

A new Heritage Learning Centre, on four levels, two above ground and two below, is planned for one corner of the Cathedral Gardens.  In addition, major repairs and renovations to the main building are scheduled to take place.  The proposals form part of the £11.3m Leicester Cathedral Revealed project, which has secured the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and is currently in its development stage.  They will form the basis of plans to be submitted over the summer to local planners and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.

Since the reinterment of Richard III in March 2015, visitor numbers to Leicester’s Cathedral have jumped ten-fold from 20,000 to over 200,000 a year, making it one of the City and County’s major tourist attractions. An independent assessment conducted by the University  of Wolverhampton calculated that the Cathedral currently makes an annual contribution to the local economy of £8.7m. The team calculate that the Leicester Cathedral Revealed project will  significantly increase the figure to £15m a year.

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith said: “Nowadays we welcome very many visitors to our Cathedral, coming for many reasons, both spiritual and otherwise. We want to give every visitor the proper welcome they deserve, and to be able to tell the stories of our city and our faith in ways which are accessible to as many as possible.”

Pete Hobson, the Cathedral’s Project Director, said: “Our plans are developing well, but there is still a way to travel. Now we would really like to give the public a chance to have their first look and tell us what they think.  We’ll be listening carefully  to every comment.”

The last major building work at the Cathedral took place in the 1930s when some vestries were added to St Martin’s. Everyone is welcome to come and see the display of plans in the Cathedral. They are on view at all times the Cathedral is open for general visiting, between 9am and 6pm daily from Wednesday 6th June for five days.

Cathedral to host ‘Suspended’

Leicester Cathedral is to host Arabella Dorman’s unique artwork Suspended, as well as a series of events, to highlight the experience of refugees.

This startling and internationally-acclaimed artwork will be installed and on show, free of charge between 20 June and 28 August 2018 – from Refugee Week, through the Cathedral’s ‘Conversations’ season until Leicester’s ArtReach-led Journeys Festival International.

Composed of hundreds of items of clothing discarded by refugees upon their arrival on the island of Lesbos, a ‘stilled explosion’ will be created over the Cathedral nave, inviting the viewer to contemplate the violent fragmentation experienced by the inhabitants of the garments. Suspended will be the centrepiece of a unique summer of events, which it hopes will help people grasp the experience of real refugees and promote empathy for those individuals. An interactive wall of clothing and shoes salvaged from Lesbos and Calais will also be in place with an invitation to touch and handle the clothes, and to imagine the lives of the individual men, women and children who have worn them as they risk everything to escape the violence of their homeland.

Suspended, In Search of Light – An Artist’s Journey by Arabella Dorman July 4, 18.30–20.00. Tickets £15. Booking via Eventbrite here.
Arabella Dorman will talk about the journey that led her from Iraq and Afghanistan as an embedded war artist, to her humanitarian work in Lesbos, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, and the creation of Suspended in Leicester Cathedral today.

The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: “I cried when I read about Suspended. This is art that connects us with the biggest movement of displaced peoples on record. These displacements are caused mainly by war, poverty and injustice and so many of them are children. Leicester Cathedral is humbled to host Suspended as we learn what it means to be more compassionate, prayerful and hospitable.”

The artist, Arabella Dorman said: “I recently stood amidst the ruins of Aleppo having travelled to Syria to bear witness. A buried shoe, a lady’s handbag, a child’s toy in the rubble are the only traces of the men, women and children who once lived there, refugees now stuck between a past to which they can never return, and a future to which they cannot move forward.

Suspended seeks to brings these lives to our attention and remind us of the urgent need for compassion, empathy and understanding as we reach out to our fellow human beings in plight. In doing so, it is a call to re-find the common thread that binds the mosaic of life together in celebration of our shared humanity.”

The Revd Canon Karen Rooms, Canon Missioner of Leicester Cathedral, who is managing the project, said: “Suspended vividly expresses both a sense of ‘being at sea’ and exuberance of the human spirit through clothing we might easily recognise as our own.

“In recent years the Church has played a significant role in working alongside people seeking sanctuary in our communities from persecution and violence in other parts of the world and this installation portrays something of the stories we hear. In a city with a strong heritage of welcome I hope Suspended moves us all to celebrate the richness human flow brings and do more to help people move forward.”

A full programme of events, co-ordinated by ArtReach, will include family art sessions, performances, a film screening, theatre arts and creative writing workshops, refugee-led coffee shop conversations, talks, seminars, and volunteer taster sessions. Full details will be listed on the website  in the coming weeks.

Suspended, In Search of Light – An Artist’s Journey by Arabella Dorman July 4, 18.30–20.00. Tickets £15. Booking via Eventbrite here.

The Cathedral’s partners and funders – ArtReach with Arts Council England, De Montfort University, the University of Leicester, Leicester City of Sanctuary and the British Red Cross – are committed to support, promote and celebrate activity that shares refugee experience.

David Hill, Director of ArtReach, said: “ArtReach is thrilled to be working in partnership with Leicester Cathedral to help facilitate installation of the inspiring and powerful Suspended artwork by Arabella Dorman. This is a major work, raising questions and creating empathy with thousands who are forced to flee their countries of origin. We look forward to creating an associated programme of events to further contribute to our Journeys 2018 and Journeys Festival International programmes.”

Pete Hobson, Chair Leicester City of Sanctuary, said: “Leicester City of Sanctuary is delighted to be a partner with the Cathedral in bringing Suspended to our city. This installation speaks powerfully to the experiences that lie behind many of the lives of those we work with, as asylum seekers and refugees.  It offers us all an insight into what it can cost to live a life suspended between a traumatic past and a hoped-for future.”