The History of Guildford Cathedral

Guildford Cathedral is a modern Cathedral with a truly remarkable story. 

Building work on the Cathedral started in 1936, to a design by Sir Edward Maufe. But work was stopped by the Second World War and its devastating aftermath. Despite enormous setbacks, regular services were held in the Crypt Chapel (the current Choir practice room) from 1947. 

When building restrictions were lifted and materials were available again, there was a renewed sense of determination in the local community to complete the Cathedral. But there were very limited funds. 

Eventually, through the Buy a Brick fundraising campaign, work re-started again in 1954. More than 200,000 ordinary people became brick-givers. Their generosity helped ensure the completion of what they thought of as “their Cathedral”. It was an extraordinary act of public support, a demonstration of modern community spirit. 

With a resilient and make do and mend approach, the inside of the Cathedral was furnished. Again, much of this was done with the assistance of local people. For example hand making the 1500 kneelers, which remain in place today.

The Cathedral - The People's Cathedral - was consecrated on 17th May 1961 by Bishop George Reindorp in the presence of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a packed congregation from all parts of the diocese.