The Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, also known as the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, is a historic and iconic Anglican cathedral located in Lagos, Nigeria. Its construction journey is an impressive tale of architectural vision, meticulous planning, and dedicated craftsmanship. Situated in the current commercial hub of Lagos Island, the Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and its design is on par with the skyscrapers in its environs, most of which were built years and even decades after the Cathedral.

How did this almost 80-year-old edifice come into existence? Here’s a little journey through the construction process that birthed the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina.

Inception and Planning:

The idea to construct a grand Cathedral in Lagos was conceived in the late 19th century, during the colonial era. The then-Bishop of Sierra Leone, Reverend Ajayi Crowther, envisioned a prominent Anglican church to serve as the centre of worship and spirituality. To come up with a befitting plan, architects, engineers, and church officials were consulted to craft out an architectural style, scale, and scope for the project. Afterwards, a site was selected along Marina Street in Lagos, overlooking the Lagos Lagoon.

Architectural Design:

The architectural design of the cathedral was entrusted to a British architect, George Gilbert Scott. Scott, a prominent Gothic Revival architect, designed several notable structures including the St. Pancras Railway Station in London. He chose a neo-Gothic architectural style for the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and intricate ornamentation.

Foundation Laying and Structural Construction:

The construction work commenced on March 29, 1924 with the laying of the cathedral’s foundation stone. The ceremony was presided over by the then-Bishop of Lagos, Reverend Herbert Tugwell, and attended by prominent dignitaries and church members. The construction process involved a combination of skilled local craftsmen and imported materials. The foundation and structural framework were built using reinforced concrete and steel. Skilled artisans and craftsmen meticulously carved and shaped intricate stone details, creating a visually stunning façade.

Stained Glass Windows:

One of the standout features of the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina is its beautiful stained-glass windows. These windows were crafted by a renowned English stained-glass artist and shipped to Lagos for installation. The stained-glass panels depict biblical scenes, saints, and angels, infusing the interior space with vibrant colours and a sense of awe.

Stained Glass Windows:

The cathedral’s interior was adorned with elaborate woodwork, including pews, choir stalls, and the pulpit, all meticulously carved by skilled artisans. The altar, made of marble, was imported from Italy. The meticulous attention to detail in the interior design aimed to create a serene and spiritually uplifting atmosphere.

Stained Glass Windows:

After several years of construction, the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina was finally completed and consecrated on October 10, 1944. The then-Bishop of Lagos led the consecration ceremony, Reverend Leslie Gordon Vining. Since then, the cathedral has served as a spiritual sanctuary, hosting various religious ceremonies, events, and community gatherings.

Today, the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina stands as a testament to the vision, craftsmanship, and faith that went into its construction. It remains a beloved landmark in Lagos, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to admire its architectural grandeur and experience its spiritual ambience.

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