Arundel Cathedral marks its 150th Anniversary this Saturday.

June 27, 2023

Arundel Cathedral marks its 150th anniversary this weekend with the celebration of Vespers on Friday 30 June and Mass on Saturday 1 July attended by the Apostolic Nuncio, Bishops from across England & Wales, and representatives from diocesan parishes and schools.

People from across the UK are invited to be part of the special anniversary celebrations with events - which take place throughout the year - to include, an exhibition exploring the history of the Cathedral at Arundel Museum 8-31 July, and a Cathedral Discovery Day for families on Saturday 30 September.

The Cathedral was commissioned by the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk in 1868 and began life as a parish church. Designed by architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom in the French Gothic style and constructed in Bath Stone, it took just over three years to build opening on 1 July 1873. Duke Henry’s church became a Cathedral in 1965 when The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton was established, with the dedication then changed to Our Lady & St Philip Howard. Speaking about the important role and legacy of the Cathedral in the spiritual life of the Diocese Bishop Richard said:

“Duke Henry gave a wonderful gift to the Catholic community in this country through the building of this great church. As the Cathedral of the Diocese, it is a focus for prayer, worship and Christian life for the people of Surrey and Sussex and it is a real joy to be able to celebrate this historic event. I look forward to meeting the many pilgrims who will travel to Arundel to mark the anniversary this year.”

The Cathedral has commissioned composer Kristina Arakelyan to write an anthem for the Cathedral Choir to commemorate the 150th Anniversary, with the first performance of the piece due to be given during the invitation-only anniversary Mass on Saturday 1 July. Speaking about the commission, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Arundel Cathedral, Elizabeth Stratford said:

“Kristina is an exceptionally gifted composer who has written emotive works for voices in different genres, perhaps most notably for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. We are tremendously excited that she is writing for us.”

The Dean of Arundel Cathedral, Canon David Parmiter said:

“The Cathedral Church has been welcoming visitors for many years, and we look forward to doing so in this anniversary year. The celebrations show us the purpose of the Cathedral building as the ‘Mother’ Church of the Diocese – a witness in the world to the love of God, a sign of hope to all who visit, or see the building from afar. “

Click here to find out more about the concerts and events programme taking place at Arundel Cathedral this year


Please direct media enquiries to Laura Maydew-Gale, E:

  • The 150th Anniversary weekend will be commemorated by the celebration of Vespers (Friday 30 June) and Mass (Saturday 1 July) attended by representatives from diocesan primary and secondary schools and parishes, with a range of dignitaries including Catholic Bishops from across England and Wales, the High Sheriffs of East Sussex and West Sussex, and the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex.
  • Bishop Richard Moth was appointed Bishop of The Diocese Arundel in 2015. He is Chair of Governors at St Mary’s University in Twickenham and Chair of the Department for Social Justice for the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
  • Information about Elizabeth Stratford and the Arundel Cathedral Choir can be found on the Cathedral website. Composer Kristina Arakelyan is one of the most prolific and successful composers of her generation in the UK and has been described as a 'rising star' (BBC Music Magazine, 2021) and 'one to watch' (Scala Radio, 2022).
  • Information on Arundel Museum’s Cathedral Exhibition 1873-2023 (8 July to 11 August) can be found here.