Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is located in downtown Hartford. It is the seat of the Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, a spiritual home to all Connecticut Episcopalians, and a house of prayer for all people. Its dean is the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell.
The building, located at 45 Main Street in Hartford, is a Gothic Revival church, built in 1827 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Although the church was constructed over a long period of time, the initial design was by Ithiel Town. A Cathedral House, across the alley from the Cathedral, includes an auditorium, meeting rooms, offices, several small apartments, and, a feeding program that operates out of its basement.
The Cathedral is engaged in a series of missional experiments in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, as well as in its surrounding neighborhoods in Hartford. These are one expression of the Cathedral's new understanding of its role in ECCT, as discerned over two years and expressed in this report as a series of recommendations. The report was accepted at the 2015 Annual Convention of ECCT. The purposes of the Cathedral, and a summary of recommendations, as found in the report, are listed below the images of the dean.
For more information on the Cathedral and events there, visit the Christ Church Cathedral website
CLICK ON IMAGES BELOW TO GET HI-RES. Additional images of the Cathedral and its dean, for publicity purposes, are available. Contact the Cathedral office.
Excerpts from the Cathedral Discernment Task Force (approved 2015)
Purposes of a Cathedral:
- Embody and enhance our common identity as Anglicans within a particular geographic region
- Preserve a house of prayer and devotion open to all
- Maintain excellence in the quality of worship
- Assist the bishops in their role as the public face and voice of the Episcopal Church
- Provide sanctuary and serve as a meeting ground
- Engage with other faiths, religions, and wisdom traditions
- Embody and extend the bishops’ apostolic call to make Christ Jesus known and manifest in the world
- Collaborate as a center for theological learning and spiritual growth
Summary of Recommendations of the Cathedral Discernment Task Force
- The cathedral should continually look for ways to convene worshiping communities, communities of practice, and affinity groups from across the diocese.
- The cathedral church should be open for prayer, devotion, and quiet contemplation throughout the week, and should provide structured worship at least once a day.
- The cathedral church should be configured with flexible seating rather than fixed pews and furnished in such a way that it invites pilgrims to enter in and wander about, even when weekday worship is taking place.
- The cathedral should maintain and support a regular worshiping congregation that is committed to following Jesus.
- The cathedral should have a sizable worship space that accommodates different liturgical styles, and a staff that has the capacity to craft and execute exemplary worship services open to all.
- The cathedral should continually look for ways to develop the capability of liturgical leaders across the diocese, and enable them to share best practices with one another.
- The cathedral should develop ongoing relations with civic leaders, and with organizations and institutions that are devoted to the common good.
- Under the guidance of the bishops, the cathedral should develop and maintain the capacity to function as a public policy arm of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut on issues in which our institutional interests are at stake or the church’s moral leadership is needed.
- The cathedral should develop and maintain relations with people from all sectors of society.
- The cathedral should routinely encourage governmental agencies, civic organizations, and community groups to use its various spaces for meetings and gatherings, so that when a crisis arises, all will regard the cathedral as familiar, safe and welcoming.
- When appropriate, the cathedral should use its sanctuary as a meeting ground for civic engagement. There will be times in which a space saturated in prayer is uniquely able to provide comfort and solace to a hurting people. And there will be times in which a space saturated in prayer is uniquely able to hold disparate groups together and to remind them of their common humanity and frailty.
- The cathedral should foster within the Episcopal Church in Connecticut a critical self-examination of our own history (as Christians) and theology (as Anglican Christians), with particular attention to the barriers they might pose to engagement with other faiths, religions, and traditions.
- The cathedral should develop ongoing relationships with organizations and institutions that seek to foster meaningful engagement across faiths, religions and traditions.
- The cathedral should gather leaders from different faiths, religions and traditions to engage in mutual learning, and to identify areas of collaboration.
- The cathedral should encourage and equip the Episcopal Church in Connecticut’s parishes to engage with other faiths, religions and traditions at the local level, and should lift up and support parishes and collaborations that are doing so already.
- The cathedral should see itself as a catalyst for mission, identifying ways in which parishes can work together, connecting parishes with other faith communities that are participating in God’s mission, and connecting the faithful with secular “missionaries.”
- The cathedral should explore new mission fields from time to time, using its resources to clear a pathway for others to follow.
- The Cathedral Chapter should develop structures that will enable the cathedral to function as a center of theological learning and spiritual growth for individuals and congregations.