Worship & Spirituality » Worship Community

Worship Community

The Cathedral Chapter

Members of the Cathedral Chapter who reside within the Cathedral precinct gather each day for Morning Prayer at 07.40 and for Evening Prayer at 17.30 (Sundays 15.00). This pattern can be traced back to the Augustinian Canons (monks) who for 400 years lived together in community in Carlisle Priory (1122-1540). Ordained members of the Cathedral Chapter regularly preside at the Eucharist on Sundays and weekdays. Since the year 2000, the Chapter has also had lay members who join in this pattern of worship as they are able.

The Chapter is delighted to welcome visitors of different Christian denominations and of different faith traditions to join the congregation at any act of worship in the Cathedral. Members of all Christian churches are welcome to receive Holy Communion at any celebration of the Eucharist.

The Guild of Priests

The Chapter invites other priests who are serving or have served in the Diocese of Carlisle to preside at the Eucharist on weekdays. Many of those who assist in this way are members of the Cathedral's College of Canons.


The Cathedral's worshipping community includes a licensed Reader. Mrs Kate Whiteford regularly assists at the Sunday Cathedral Eucharist, reading the Gospel, leading prayer and assisting with the administration of Holy Communion. Mrs Whiteford's duties as a Reader include pastoral visiting to members of the Cathedral community and at the Cumberland Infirmary.


The Vergers are appointed by the Chapter to keep the Cathedral in good order and to make arrangements for the many and varied activities which take place within the Cathedral and the other public buildings within the Cathedral precinct.

In particular they assist by making preparations for, and taking part in, the daily acts of worship. They lead the officiating ministers to the place where the different services will be held, carrying the distinctive "virge" which gives their role its name.

The Head Verger is James Armstrong. The Assistant Vergers are John Metcalfe, Jenny Alexander, and David Wilson.

The Vergers can be contacted by email at headverger@carlislecathedral.org.uk and by telephone 01228 535169.

Young People at Worship

Children and Young people are welcome at services in the Cathedral. On Sundays at 10.30am special provision is made available. In term time, those of primary school age are invited to join a Godly Play session in the Prior's Tower. Godly Play is held during the first part of the Eucharist. Children leave the Cathedral after the Collect and rejoin the congregation at the Offertory.

Parents and pre-school children are welcome to use the Canons' Vestry during Cathedral services. Play-things are set out on Sunday mornings.

"Busy bags" are available at the back of the cathedral for use by children who prefer to stay with their parents.