Stand at the back of the church, by the entrance door.
Welcome to Christ Church Anglican Cathedral. The Anglican community has been worshipping in Montreal since 1766, soon after Quebec was ceded to the British. You are standing in the third Christ Church. The previous two churches situated in Old Montreal burned to the ground, the first in 1803, the second in 1857, just seven years after Christ Church had been designated a Cathedral in the Diocese of Montreal.
Look straight down the centre aisle toward the high altar. You will notice that the church is built in the shape of a cross, with a ceiling covering the nave shaped like the underside of a boat. The architectural style is Gothic Revival, typical of the year, 1859, when the Cathedral was completed. The architect, Frank Wills of Salisbury, England, copied the Gothic architecture of a 14th century church at Snettisham near Cambridge in England. Wills died in 1857. Thomas Scott, a New York architect followed his designs to complete the church.
At the top of the steps in the space between the arms of the cross you will see the nave altar where the priests and servers stand during our Communion services, facing the congregation in the nave. To your left you will see the Chapel of St John of Jerusalem, to your right the baptistery.
Just below the steps, on the left, you see the pulpit where sermons are preached, and on the right the lectern where lessons are read.
High above the steps you will see the pretty little celestial organ whose pipes were once connected to the old organ in the chancel. Nowadays, it is purely ornamental.
As you glance around the church you will see that the windows are filled with stained glass. You will also see many statues of angels. Francis Fulford who was Bishop of Montreal when the Cathedral was built was particularly fond of angels.
Take a look at the tops of the pillars. You will see sculptures of the foliage found in the garden of Justice McCord when the cathedral was built.
At the four corners of the nave are sculptured heads representing the four Evangelists. Luke and John are found above the pulpit and the lectern, Matthew and Mark at either side of the organ loft.
Now that we have a general idea of the layout of the cathedral, let’s walk around and take a closer look at some points of interest.