Footprint: Services and Events for the Summer

The thrusts of this season, through the title Footprint, lie around our identity and legacy. A footprint is a marker, an indicator of a unique person – perhaps not quite as individual as a fingerprint but nonetheless a personal identifier, signifying that someone was there. Moreover a footprint indicates motion – someone is going somewhere. And, when that person has been and gone, the footprint still remains. A question for each of us is therefore what footprints we leave behind us as we journey through life towards eternity.

And so you may note footprints leading you around the Cathedral, not just ensuring you see all that is to be seen of our beautiful building, but inviting children and adults alike to ponder aspects of their own identity and legacy. Stop a while to leave your footprint in the form of a prayer at our burning bush installation – a reminder of how God breaks into our lives if we let him.

Towards the end of this season there is Journeys Festival International Leicester, the first UK festival to be awarded the Festival of Sanctuary award from City of Sanctuary. This year they are focussing on identity through portraiture, which, although implying faces, ties in with ‘Footprint’ in the sense of what the world sees of and in us. Furthermore, anything which references refugees and asylum seekers naturally suggests journeying. What is left behind and what is the new footprint? George Sfougaras’ banner and art work along the north wall challenge us to reflect.

During this season, the famous portrait of King Richard III will visit New Walk Museum. That exhibition is entitled Coming Home – maybe a slight misnomer in the case of King Richard but this is part of a wider National Portrait Gallery initiative with the same title. The identity question is particularly apposite in his case– who really was this man? His tomb in the Cathedral constantly invites us to ask that question; and we are, here this summer, consciously remembering some of the fascinating threads which make up his re-interment story.

Summer events in the Cathedral are woven around all these threads, encompassing children’s activities, a preaching series, a family pilgrimage walk, Dean’s Discussions and other related events.

We welcome you!

The Reverend Canon Alison Adams
Canon Pastor and Sub-Dean

Special Services


Monday 1 July | 7.30pm
Ordination of Priests and Deacon

Wednesday 3 July | 7.00pm
Safeguarding Coordinators Service

Friday 5 July | 2.00pm
Action Mesothelioma Prayer Service
Taking place on Action Mesothelioma Day.

Thursday 11 July | 5.30pm
Evening Prayer for Srebrenica Memorial Day
Every year Remembering Srebrenica selects a theme that both reflects an aspect of the genocide that must be commemorated, but also speaks to communities in the UK. The theme for 2019 is Bridging the Divide: Confronting Hate.


Saturday 17 August | 5.30pm
Choral Evensong to mark the anniversary of the death of King Richard III
A solemn occasion when, through music, prayer, and the laying of white roses, the memory of the Battle of Bosworth is held.

Music and Concerts


Tuesday 2 July | 7.30pm
Cathedral Choir and Organ Concert at De Montfort Hall
An evening of organ and choral classics with the Leicester Cathedral Choir and Leicester Cathedral Chamber Orchestra, including Thalben-Ball, Vierne, and the Fauré Requiem.
Tickets available from De Montfort Hall
£7.50 | Students £5 | Children under 16 free with a paying adult


Tuesday 27 August | 7.00pm
Stories of Sanctuary
Part of Journeys Festival International Leicester, all are welcome to a concert performed by the Sanctuary Seekers Choir. Tickets available from

Summer Organ Festival 2019


Dean’s Discussions

All are welcome to free discussions in the annual series hosted by the Dean of Leicester. Free admission, book via Eventbrite.

Thursday 18 July | 6.00pm
Unfolding Design: with the artist George Sfougaras
Exploring the inspiration for and creation of multi-layered artwork, such as the Recovered Histories Project, and questions around identity which such works invoke.

Thursday 8 August | 6.00pm
The Footprint of History: with Professor Kevin Schürer
Professor Schürer was one of the major leaders in determining whether human remains discovered in the car park were indeed King Richard III. Here he reflects on that process,and on how genealogy, and the increasing interest in tracing our history relate to our understanding of identity today, both as individuals and as a society.

Thursday 29 August | 6.30pm
I am Human: Identity among Asylum Seekers and Refugees
With the starting point of a poem with the same title by Malka Al-Haddad, Ben Margolis explores what this might mean to asylum seekers and how forced migration and settlement in another land affects identity. Ben is Regional Co-ordinator for City of Sanctuary, for the South East, Eastern and Central Regions of the country.

King Richard III


Saturday 17 August | 5.30pm
Choral Evensong to mark the anniversary of the death of King Richard III
A solemn occasion when, through music, prayer, and the laying of white roses, the memory of the Battle of Bosworth is held.

Thursday 22 August | 6.30pm
Reinterment Relived: The Dean Reflects
On the exact date of the Battle of Bosworth, the Cathedral remains open until 8.00pm for extended viewing, special guided tours and family activities. At 6.30pm, the Dean will offer some reflections about King Richard’s reinterment in March 2015. Free admission, no booking required.

Children and Family


Saturday 17 August | 11.00am
Messy Cathedral: Footprints
With crafts, storytelling and food, exploring footprints together. Book via Eventbrite.

13 July – 16 August
Family Trail 
Follow the footprints around the Cathedral building to discover self-guided family activities!

Journeys Festival International Leicester

Journeys Festival International Leicester celebrates the creative talent of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists and shares the refugee experience through great art.

We are delighted to host some of the Recovered Histories art work, on display in the Cathedral over July and August, as well as Stories of Sanctuary, a concert performed by the
Sanctuary Seekers Choir on 27 August (see Music and Concerts above).

In addition, two of our Dean’s Discussions closely connect with the theme and work of the Festival: Unfolding Design, with the artist George Sfourgaras, and I am Human, with Ben Margolis, Regional Co-ordinator for City of Sanctuary. See the above for details!


Summer Organ Festival 2019

The Summer Organ Festival returns with a series of concerts on Tuesday evenings in July and August at 7.30pm. Each concert lasts approximately 70 minutes.

Alongside members of the Cathedral’s music department we welcome visiting organists from around the UK. Come and hear the Cathedral Organ put through its paces as our recitalists explore the organ’s many colours and the vast repertoire written for it.

Each concert has large screen projection to see the organists’ hands and feet at work.

Full details of the concerts can be seen below.

Tickets (on the door) £7.50
• £5.00 (students with NUS card)
• Accompanied under 16’s FREE

New Assistant Director of Music at Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral is delighted to announce the appointment of Rosie Vinter to the post of Assistant Director of Music and Head of Music Outreach. Rosie is currently Organ Scholar at Lichfield Cathedral and Graduate Music Assistant at Lichfield Cathedral School. She is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and has degrees from Chichester University and the London College of Music.

Christopher Ouvry-Johns, Director of Music at Leicester Cathedral, said: “Rosie’s skill-set and experience are as close a match for this post as we could have hoped to find. She is a highly proficient organist, conductor and singer and, most importantly, has an instinctive understanding of education and an ability to establish a rapport with young singers, which will be invaluable both in the classrooms of our DioSing! schools and in her work with the choristers and young songmen at Leicester Cathedral. I look forward very much to welcoming her to the department after the summer holidays.”

Emma Davies, Acting Canon Precentor of Leicester Cathedral , said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Rosie will be joining our music department here at Leicester Cathedral. The considerable skills, talent and experience that she brings will be enormously valuable to our music team and will enable us to build on and develop the good musical work that we have undertaken here. We very much look forward to welcoming Rosie in September.”

Speaking about her appointment, Rosie said: “I am delighted to be joining Leicester Cathedral as Assistant Director of Music and Head of Music Outreach, and cannot wait to begin working with the Cathedral music department and local schools in September. Prior to this appointment, I studied Theology and Music at Chichester University, and Music Performance at the London College of Music. I have since been teaching music at Abbots Bromley School and Lichfield Cathedral School, and have held posts as organ scholar at Chelmsford Cathedral, Temple Church and Lichfield Cathedral.”

Diocese celebrates 25th anniversary of Ordination of Women as Priests

Saturday afternoon saw a packed Cathedral at a service to celebrate and give thanks for 25 years of women being ordained as priests in the Church of England.
The Silver Jubilee celebration Eucharist saw Bishop Guli, our own female Bishop of Loughborough, lead and preside while the sermon was delivered by the Archdeacon Pastor of Coventry Diocese, Sue Field, who was one of those ordained in Leicester Cathedral on 8 May 1994. Also ordained at the same service a quarter of a Century ago was Susan Leighton, Priest in Charge of St Theodores and Chaplain of the Good Shepherd, who shared with the congregation some of her own reflections and experiences.

Music was provided by the Girls and Songmen of the Cathedral Choir and in a nice nod to history, the opening hymn and the Bible readings were the same as those used in the service 25 years ago.

Afterwards, a special celebration cake and prosecco were enjoyed by the congregation, in keeping with the celebratory nature of the day.

Following the service Canon Karen Rooms, Women’s Ministry Enabler for the Diocese said: “What a joy to gather together the first ground breaking generation of women ordained over 25 years, whose priesthood is blessing the people of this city and county today. Their leadership and ministry in parish, in chaplaincy, in the Church and wider society, and in new ways of building community and doing church, is testimony to our collective response to the continuing work of God that the church marks at Pentecost.”

Service for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, on 6 June 1944, also known as D-Day. A series of major commemorations is planned to mark this historic occasion, with events planned in the UK and at various locations along the Normandy coast.

Today, Thursday 6 June 2019, the Cathedral will hold a special Service of Commemoration to mark the anniversary. The Service will start at 5.30pm.

All are welcome.

Cathedral Revealed secures full grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Leicester Cathedral’s ambitious £11.3m project to restore the city’s historic cathedral and build a new heritage learning centre beside the main building has secured its full grant of £3.3m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Heritage Learning Centre, on the site of the former Song School, will be a two-storey stone building with some terracotta and glass features. Planning approval was secured earlier this year from the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and Leicester City Council, after taking advice from Historic England, the Leicester Conservation Advisory Panel and others.

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith said: “Leicester Cathedral Revealed is very important because it will transform what we will be able to do. It will protect the historic setting of the Cathedral, free up the sacred spaces, provide inspirational interpretation and learning facilities, and be a safe place of hospitality and refuge for those in need. In every respect it will transform the individual experience of being inside the Cathedral.

“Since the reinterment of King Richard III in 2015, our city has benefited from £8m additional income a year thanks to the extraordinary upsurge in cultural tourists. This project has the potential to double that for the city.

“We are delighted and immensely grateful for the significant support we have received from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and from local individuals and organisations.  We have now raised £8m and have £3m left to secure. So there is still a job to be done. We will continue to fundraise throughout 2019 and with the help of everyone who believes this project matters to all our communities, we will get there.”

Leicester is one of three English Cathedrals (the others being Worcester and Newcastle) which are to receive a total of more than £8m from the latest round of major grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to protect and enhance their faith-based heritage and to extend their cultural and social contribution to their local communities and visitors.

Becky Clark, the Church of England’s Director of Churches and Cathedrals, said: “Creating positive and lasting change for people and communities is a vision The National Lottery Heritage Fund shares with cathedrals, so the news that Leicester, Newcastle and Worcester Cathedrals have all benefitted from this most recent round of funding is tremendous.

“The value of our cathedrals is clear to the 10 million people who visit each year, and to the hundreds of thousands who regularly attend worship.

“All three of the projects funded in this round are focused primarily on increasing welcome, improving access, and providing inspiration.

“The cities and wider communities which Leicester, Newcastle and Worcester serve are at the heart of these projects, and these funding awards highlight the enduring importance and appeal of cathedrals, and their ability to maintain traditions of worship and openness whilst also pioneering new ways of inviting everyone to enjoy all they have to offer.”

Work in Leicester is expected to begin on site in early 2020 and is anticipated to be completed by 2022.

View of proposed south entrance lobby – Image © vHH and NLHF


Three indicative images showing the impact on the Cathedral when the work is complete are used on this page. Please acknowledge these as “These images are artist’s impressions only as final details will be subject to planning conditions.

Since the reburial of King Richard III in 2015, Leicester Cathedral has seen vastly increased visitor numbers as thousands of people each year flock to see the former king’s final resting place – with around 145,000 visitors last year. The Cathedral is open to all every day of the year free of charge, though donations are invited.

The Leicester Cathedral Revealed Project was commenced in 2016, and will complete work first envisaged in a reordering Masterplan compiled in 2008. The Cathedral’s architects throughout this period have been van Heyningen and Haward, whose work preparing for the King Richard III reinterment won national awards.


Watercolour impression of Leicester Cathedral and the proposed Heritage Learning Cenre – Image © vHH and NLHF

Peregrine Chicks

On Wednesday 1 May, the first peregrine chick of the year hatched on the Cathedral spire at 4.50pm.The female had been very restless most of the afternoon and refused to allow the male to incubate. The second of the four surviving eggs hatched at midnight. On 3 May, a third egg hatched at 7.40am, the female helping it from the shell. The hatching of the third chick marks the first time in seven years that the Leicester Peregrines have had three chicks!


Keep an eye on the Leicester Peregrines page to watch their live web cams!

The Leicester Peregrine Project is a run by the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society (LROS) with the help of Leicester City Council (LCC) and Leicester Cathedral. The objective is to Identify, Monitor and Promote the Conservation of Peregrines within Leicester and its environs.

Follow them on Twitter @LeicsPeregrines

(Picture by Jim Graham)

Wondering Soul: world renowned modern art collection

One of Britain’s most important collections of modern religious art is coming to Leicester. Thanks to a joint project between the Church of England’s Leicester Cathedral and the Methodist church, the Methodist Modern Art Collection will be on display at 5 venues across Leicestershire from May 2 until June 9 2019 and will be accompanied by a month long programme of exciting creative events.

This unique collection of art featuring biblical themes and narrative has toured the UK and abroad since its inception over 50 years ago. There are over 45 works, including some by well-known artists such as Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink, William Roberts, Patrick Heron and most recently Maggi Hambling. Most of the pictures depict scenes from the life and teaching of Christ including ‘Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem’ by Norman Adams and ‘The Washing of the Feet’ by Ghislaine Howard. Some artists were or are Christians, others not.

[Pink Crucifixion/Craigie Aitchison] from the Methodist Modern Art Collection, © TMCP, used with permission.
Venues for the exhibition are: Leicester Cathedral, Bishop Street Methodist Church, St Nicholas Church, St Andrew’s Church all in Leicester city and Launde Abbey.

The exhibition is free to visit and open 7 days a week. Special arrangements can be made for groups to see the collection with an expert guide by contacting us via our website

The Revd Fran Rhys, of Bishop Street Methodist Church, Leicester, commented: “I’ve known about the Methodist Modern Art Collection for 20 years and feel proud that the Methodist Church in Britain has this collection of paintings, which constitutes the largest modern Christian art collection outside the Vatican and which travels to many different venues around the country and overseas as well.

“It’s an opportunity for those who are already Christians to re-examine their faith and hopefully to gain new and deeper insights from the artworks and for others to enjoy some fantastic art which may well raise deeper questions for them, whatever their faith or none.”

It will be the latest in a series of popular and high-profile exhibitions that have been hosted inside Leicester Cathedral during the last year.

Arabella Doorman’s Suspended, which was hung in the Cathedral in the summer 2018 and Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon in March 2018 both attracted a large number of visitors from Leicester and beyond.

In addition to the exhibition, there will also be a programme of exciting creative events, including workshops, talks, artist residencies and a county-wide poetry project.

Dean of Leicester, The Very Revd David Monteith, said: “In a visual age, art can communicate and touch our souls beyond words. We want to wonder together about how these paintings might change us or help us see ourselves, our world or even God differently.  It’s free and everyone is welcome.”

The exhibition is being curated by Bethany Piggott, whose post has been funded jointly by the Methodist Church, Leicester Cathedral and the Church of England (CofE)’s Leicester Diocese Growth Fund.

Jonathan Kerry, Chief Executive and Secretary for the CofE Diocese of Leicester and Cathedral Administrator, said “Not only is this a fabulous collection of paintings that will fascinate anyone who sees them, but we are very excited about the programme of talks, events and activities for all ages that will take place alongside the exhibition.”


City planners give Leicester Cathedral Revealed building the go ahead

Leicester City Council has given planning permission to the Cathedral’s plan for a renewal and new build project to create a Heritage Learning Centre beside the main building.

In December 2018, a formal application was lodged with the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a grant towards the £11.3m project cost of the Leicester Cathedral Revealed project.

The project will see the restoration of the Cathedral building together with the creation of the new Heritage Learning Centre on the site of the former Song School, which adjoins the Cathedral and is now used mostly for storage.

Plans for the new two-storey stone building include terracotta and glass features, and have already been approved by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and the Leicester Conservation Advisory Panel. Historic England raised some issues with some of the design but did not object to the overall plan, and at Leicester City Council Planning Committee meeting on 19 February, the plans were approved by all the councillors except for one, who abstained.

The Cathedral will now work closely with Historic England and other agencies on details of the new building to address matters of detail.

The Dean of Leicester, The Very Revd David Monteith said: “This project will transform what we will be able to do. The restoration of the building will enhance the spiritual and cultural experience of being in the Cathedral. The Heritage Learning Centre will allow us to protect the historic setting of the Cathedral, while engaging with many more communities through exciting interpretation and learning facilities. It will also help us to cater for the increasing numbers of visitors the City has welcomed since the reburial of King Richard III.”

It is hoped the National Lottery Heritage Fund will approve its full grant of £3.3m this spring and then work can start on this transformational project for our Cathedral, serving the people of Leicester and Leicestershire as well as visitors from further afield.

It is expected that contractors might be on site by early in 2020 and the project will be completed in 2022.

[IMAGE: View to the Heritage Learning Centre – Image © vHH and HLF]

For more information on Leicester Cathedral Revealed, click here.

Joint Meeting of Anglican and Catholic Bishops in Leicester

We were delighted to host the Catholic bishops of England and Wales and Church of England bishops who met in Leicester from January 16th to 17th for their biennial conference.

Together 27 Anglican and 27 Catholic bishops explored a diverse range of subjects including opportunities for closer collaboration at a regional and national level. Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu were present throughout. Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby addressed the gathering.

Dr Paula Gooder and Professor Paul Murray, members of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, led the bishops in reflection on its latest document Walking Together On The Way. Drawing on their rich experience of walking together as fellow pilgrims, the bishops considered the life of their global communions. They explored similarities and differences between the structures of their churches.

The bishops also discussed how they might work together to address issues of national importance, including the UK’s relationship with the EU, recognising the unique role the Church plays as an instrument of reconciliation and peace in society.

The spirit of the meeting was expressed by Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, who said: “All good conversations start round the table over a meal.

“This 24 hour period has been a highly stimulating and honest time of sharing: prayer, fellowship, laughter and mutual support. I would like to think that the body of Christ has been enriched by this time and look forward to other opportunities to engage together.”

The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley commented: “This meeting has highlighted how very far we have come in our fraternal discussions in the past 50 years. We have a strong bond, we are dealing with the same problems which we must continue to tackle in our different ways and support each other in our love for Christ and His flock.

“This meeting has been frank and realistic. I am both encouraged and strengthened by this sincere dialogue and our friendship as brothers and sisters in Christ. We journey onwards in hope – we have so much in common – in this drama of Redemption.”

The bishops gathered together for Evensong at Leicester Cathedral and for Mass and Morning Prayer at Holy Cross Dominican Priory in Leicester. Conference events and meals were provided by the St Martins House team and our neighbours at the Richard III Visitor Centre also hosted a tour for the bishops.

A joint choir of Leicester Cathedral and English Martyrs School sang at the Evensong, and Canon Alison Adams guided the bishops and other guests on a tour of the Cathedral afterwards.