The external architecture of this fine building is typically Victorian; red bricks surmounted by lots of stone squiggly bits (I have a Master's in The Built Environment doncha know?).
Internally, it's typically Anglican in decor and furnishings......that is really good except that, it's supposed to be a Catholic Cathedral.
Why, I wonder idly to myself as I ritually drown my rubber duck each nightly bathtime, why are Catholic Cathedrals so devoid of candle trays at the feet of statues?
Come to think of it, there are precious few statues, perhaps that's the answer.
OK, St John's did have one tray at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and one sans candles at the Sacred Heart statue (just in case odd irate Pompeians fill up the combox with complaints).
But, after saying my prayers, I found myself wondering what it was that was missing in this church.
There were some beautiful statues including an outstanding Pieta, the stained glass was, OK - ish, if you like Victorian stained glass.
But there was something else, something almost undefinable missing.
It lacked a presence, that was it!
No, more than that, it lacked the Presence. It was, I have to say, a very Anglican type experience.
The main altar could have done with some adornment to make it less of a Protestant table and the tabernacle could have been centrally placed behind the main altar.
That might have done it.
The large statue of St Peter has a printed plaque beneath it carrying the words of the 'Our Father'. It reads:
"Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be they name, they will be done..."etc
Were they typos or were they remnants of an olde Hampshire dialect?
Someone will enlighhten me no doubt
Of course, it's barely a month since Bishop Philip assumed the chair so he must be allowed some space within which to work change but it would be good for the Diocesan mother church to exude a little more of a Catholic aura.
Afterwards, I just had time to call in to the Cathedral shop to pick up some candles (with the 3 days in mind) you never know, a candle holder for our crucifix and Jane Mossendew's CTS booklet on God and Gardens, an excellent guide to plants, flowers and garden layouts all framed within aspects of the Faith- great.
Next step, on to Kingston and Henfield - the latter to see my eldest sister whom is much loved by all.
Yours in haste.