St Columb's Cathedral

St Columb's Cathedral, Derry
Cathedral Church of St Columb, Derry City
Coordinates: 54°59′38″N 7°19′23″W / 54.99389°N 7.32306°W / 54.99389; -7.32306
Denomination Church of Ireland
Churchmanship Low Church
Website St Columb's Cathedral
Dedication St Columba
Diocese Derry and Raphoe
Province Armagh
Bishop(s) The Right Reverend Ken Good
Dean Rev. R. J. Stewart
Canon(s) Rev. M. Ferry
Rev. D. J. Quinn
Rev. F. D. Creighton
Rev. H. Given
Prebendary Rev. S. McVeigh
Organist(s) Ian Kenneth Mills

St Columb's Cathedral in the walled city of Derry, Northern Ireland is the mother church of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Derry and Raphoe and the parish church of Templemore.

It is dedicated to Saint Columba, the Irish monk who established a Christian settlement in the area before being exiled from Ireland and introducing Christianity to Scotland and northern England.


The original site of the diocesan cathedral was in Templmore (Irish: An Teampalll Mór or "the Big Church"). Due to the violence of the Nine Years' War, the church was destroyed. It was first damaged by an accidental explosion on 24 April 1568, the church having been appropriated for the storage of gunpowder.[1] On 16 April 1600, Sir Henry Docwra entered Derry with a force of 4,000 soldiers. He tore down the ruins of the Big Church and used its stones to build the walls and ramparts of the city.[2] A small square stone tablet from An Teampall Mór is today fixed into the porch of the present structure. The Latin inscription reads "In Templo Vervs Devs Est Verec Colendvs" ("The True God is in His Temple and is to be truly worshipped").

The present structure, located close to the original, was completed in 1633 by William Parrot, in the Planter's Gothic style. Also in the porch is an inscription:

If stones could speake
then London's prayse
should sound who
built this church and
cittie from the grounde.[3]

St. Columb's has in its possession many documents dating back from the Siege of Derry. They have portraits of William of Orange and the original keys of the city.

The Cathedral also contains a memorial to Valentine Munbee McMaster VC.

St Columb's is the first cathedral to be built by the Anglican church after the Reformation in the British Isles and the first non-RC cathedral to be built in Western Europe.[4]


The cathedral has three Sunday services, 8:00am Early Morning Eucharist, 11:00am Sung Eucharist (1st and 3rd Sundays of the month), Matins (All other Sundays of the month), 10:00am Family Service (4th Sunday of the month) and 4:00pm Choral Evensong.

On weekdays Morning Prayer is celebrated Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30am and on Tuesdays Holy Communion is celebrated with intercessions for the sick.

Dean of 19 years, Reverend William Morton, retired on 18 September 2016, and was appointed Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. In the transition period, before appointment of a new dean, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, appointed Reverend Mervyn T. E. Peoples to assist the cathedral's curate Reverend Canon John Merrick.[5]

On 4 December 2016, Bishop Good appointed Reverend Canon Raymond Stewart as the new Dean of Saint Columb's Cathedral and Rector of the Parish of Templemore. Stewart was inaugurated on 28 March 2017, at the Cathedral, by Bishop Good and succeeded Rev Dr William Morton, who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin in September 2016. [6][7][8][9]


  • 1873-1878 James Turpin
  • 1878-1911 Daniel Jones
  • 1912-1914 Sydney Weale
  • 1914-1921 Richard Henry Coleman
  • 1921-1948 John T Frankland
  • 1948-1968 Michael H Franklin
  • 1968-1971 Neil Wade
  • 1971 Ian Barber
  • 1972-1980 Michael Hoeg
  • 1981-1982 Marc Rochester
  • 1982-1988 William West
  • 1988-1990? Alexander Best
  • 1990-1991 William West
  • 1991-2001 Timothy Allen
  • 2002-2004 Jonathan Lane
  • 2005- Ian Kenneth Mills


See also


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