About the cathedral
The Manchester Collegiate Church was the scene, in 1787, of the first ever public meeting of the campaign to abolish the slave trade. Founded by royal charter in 1421, it became a cathedral in 1847. It is a classic example of English ‘Perpendicular’ architecture, with fine 15th and 16th century carvings in the nave and quire. Other notable features include the magnificent post-war stained glass windows; part of the restoration after major bomb damage in 1940. Over the four decades or so during which Manchester mutated into the world’s first ever modern industrial city, ‘th’ owd church’ hosted mass-industrial baptisms and weddings: batches of up to thirty couples married simultaneously, day after day. Nowadays, it oscillates between being, on the one hand, a haven of peace in a frantic city centre and – on the other hand – in the judgement of the BBC, ‘Britain’s most rocking cathedral’.