Chelmsford Cathedral

This is one of the smallest Cathedrals in England in one of the largest Diocese. The first church on the site of the present Cathedral was founded (as was the town of Chelmsford itself) 800 years ago. This church was dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and was rebuilt in the 15th and early 16th centuries. It became a Cathedral in 1914.

The honey-coloured limestone floor helps to give the Cathedral its sense of space and light. The altar, the Bishop's chair (cathedra) and the font are all made from Westmorland slate.

The 15th century south porch was enriched in 1953 to mark Anglo-US friendship. The Cathedral also has links with Thomas Hooker, who was Town Lecturer in Chelmsford from 1626-29, went on to found the town of Hartford, Connecticut and has been called the Father of American Democracy.

The exterior walls are of flint rubble intermixed with blocks of building stone and brick. The tower houses a fine ring of 13 bells. On the south east corner of the church is a contemporary statue of St Peter with his fishing boots, net, fish and key.

Venue Type:

Sacred space

Opening hours

9.00-18.00 daily.

Additional info

There is no parking on the premises but there is a council car park nearby. Drop-in visitors are welcome in the cathedral at anytime, to have a look around. Any services, events or concerts will be advertised on the notice board outside the cathedral. Alternatively, have a look at the website for a calendar of events, prior to your visit.

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Youth Club

Chelmsford Cathedral Youth Club is for children aged 10 years and over and meets weekly for games, teaching, challenge and laughter.

How to obtain

Contact for more details on how to join or get involved.

Educational Visits and Workshops

Our education programme includes a variety of cross-curricular trails and activities designed to meet the needs of the National Curriculum, especially the RE syllabus. We tailor visits to your school’s specific needs.
They can focus on themes like: The Cathedral as a place of worship; signs and symbols; vestments and seasonal colours; materials used in the Cathedral; or the role of the Bishop.
Each visit may include exploring the main parts of the Cathedral, using the senses, role play, drawing, sketching and story telling, ending with a short act of worship. We can often arrange to demonstrate the organ.

How to obtain

A visit to the Cathedral costs £1.00 per child, £1.50 per child for workshops. Teachers and helpers are not charged.
Visits usually last around one and a half hours, and those also including creative activities in the Learning Centre are held between 10.00am and 2.00pm.
Please book at least three weeks in advance, even if you do not require a guide. For more information and to make a booking, please contact the Education Officer, Mrs Bobby Harrington on 01245 265052 or
A booklet entitled "A Young Person's Guide to Church Language" may be bought at the time of booking for £1.00. Information sheets, which may be photocopied, can also be purchased. These cover such topics as signs and symbols; vestments and seasonal colours; the role of the Bishop; the materials of the cathedral, etc.

Chelmsford Cathedral
New Street




01245 294489


01245 294499

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.