Chelmsford Cathedral
Cathedral Libraries

The South Porch Library is made up of three distinct entities:

The Knightbridge Library is the historic library of mainly sixteenth and seventeenth century Protestant writings bequeathed to the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, now Chelmsford Cathedral, by John Knightbridge. It is the Cathedral's duty to maintain and preserve this collection of books and make books from the collection available to scholars.

The local history library is a collection of material relating to Essex, the Diocese of Chelmsford and the diocesan arrangements preceding the formation of the Diocese. Parishes within the diocese ought to send a copy of books and articles written about them to the Cathedral so that the local history library can be as comprehensive as possible. Leslie Retford is currently re-arranging and indexing the local history library as and when his other responsibilities permit.

Cathedral Archives

 Most of the historical material is held by Essex Record Office as the Cathedral does not have the resources to maintain the collection or grant access to the general public. However a considerable amount of the more modern material is retained by the Cathedral and this is where the bulk of my work lies. The Archives are a resource for the Cathedral, providing a record of the Cathedral's activities over a number of years which can inform present and future activities, record the legal framework behind decisions of Cathedral authorities and provide information on the buildings and artefacts which are the responsibility of the Cathedral authorities. It is therefore important to the internal workings of the Cathedral that these records are properly preserved and easily accessible. These records also hold material relating to people living and working in Essex over a number of years, who may or may not have been members of the Church community.

We always try and deal with requests as quickly as possible and provide a second option for getting the information if we cannot help.

If you have a question or query relating to the Library please contact:

Ann Cowper-Coles

01245 346284

The Courtyard Library in the Cathedral Centre, has twentieth-century books and periodicals for borrowing and reference in fields which include Biblical studies, theology, liturgy and spirituality. The libraries are for students and those for who have an interest or want to continue learnings in these areas. The library is open from 9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday. 

If you have any questions regarding the Courtyard Library please contact:

Mary Rothero

Mary is in the Library on Friday's or on 01621 817270 or contact the Cathedral Office on 01245 294492

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