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Christ's Church Cathedral
43°15′47″N 79°51′58″W / 43.26306°N 79.86611°W / 43.26306; -79.86611
Denomination Anglican Church of Canada
Status Cathedral
Founded 1835 (1835)
Founder(s) John Geddes
Dedication Christ
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Henry Langley
Style English Gothic
Groundbreaking 1852
Completed 1873
Parish Christ Church
Diocese Niagara
Province Ontario
Dean The Very Rev. Peter Wall
Assistant priest(s) Rev. Canon Dr. Sharyn Hall
Director of music Michael Bloss
Parish administrator Alison Meredith

Christ's Church Cathedral, the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, is located at 252 James Street North, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The parish was established in 1835, with construction for the present building taking place from 1852 to 1873. The cathedral has gone through several expansions and renovations since its opening in 1876.


The parish was established by John Geddes, the Dean of Niagara, in 1835. The parish's present building was built from 1852 to 1873. The original church building was demolished in 1872 to make room for the new cathedral. The present building officially opened in 1876, with Christ Church formally elevated into cathedral.

In 2003 the dean performed an irregular wedding for a lesbian couple while the national church was debating the issue of blessing of same-sex unions (as it continues to do) and without the diocesan synod having reached any conclusion on the matter, provoking censure by the bishop. (The diocesan synod did subsequently approve blessing of same-sex unions in 2004 though the bishop withheld his consent notwithstanding which the local Roman Catholic diocese withdrew from an annual service with the Anglicans and Lutherans to renew and reaffirm recognition of one another's baptismal vows.) It is considered a gay-friendly parish and Integrity, an Anglican/Episcopalian gay and lesbian organization, conducts monthly worship services in the cathedral.


The building has an unusual construction history. Originally a stuccoed wooden Palladian-Baroque structure designed by Robert Charles Wetherall, it was incrementally transformed into stone Decorated Gothic, initially to an 1848 design by William Thomas, with Thomas's chancel and the first two bays of his nave being added to Wetherall's existing wooden church, the resulting hybrid being dubbed "the humpback church." The stone gothic nave was completed to a further design by Henry Langley (the architect of some 70 Ontario churches) in 1876, the original wooden portion having been demolished in 1872 to clear room for it and, inter alia, the chancel extended in 1924–25.

Meanwhile, Thomas, in a state of indignation over the perverse use to which the Anglicans had put his design, took it to the Presbyterians, who built the still-standing St Paul's Church to Thomas's plan for Christ's Church.

Christ's Church Cathedral, Hamilton, ON - Interior
Stained-glass windows behind the altar of the cathedral

Christ's Church has ornately carved west doors and fine stained glass windows.

Music and arts

The cathedral is a notable arts, concert, recital and recording venue in Hamilton. Its Gallery 252, operated by the cathedral's arts committee, mounts monthly exhibitions of oils, pastels, charcoal drawings, photography, silk screening and stitchery as a means of introducing to the public artists not yet sufficiently established for commercial galleries. Since 2008, the New Harbours Music Series has organized free public concerts which coincide with the monthly artcrawl on James street, including performances from Polmo Polpo, Orphx, Michael Snow, Slither, Steve Hauschildt, Dirty Beaches, Slim Twig, Gasoline Gathers Hands Gathers Friends, Sun Circle, and Jeremy Greenspan.

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