At the end of the Mass for the Celebration of Priesthood, held at the Cathedral on Friday 16 June, Bishop Marcus dedicated a new memorial in the North Transept that recalls the life and ministry of Mgr Canon Peter McGuire (1932 – 2015) who was Dean of Leeds Cathedral from 1981 until 2003. In that same year he was appointed a Protonotary Apostolic by Pope St John Paul II. To date Mgr McGuire is the longest serving Dean of the Cathedral.
The memorial was designed by the Cathedral Architect, Richard Williams, and created in the workshops of Houghtons of York. It incorporates marble and mosaic elements from the pulpit designed for the first St Anne’s Cathedral in 1897 by John Francis Bentley, the Yorkshire-born architect of Westminster Cathedral. The pulpit was transferred to the present Cathedral ready for the opening in 1904 and remained in use until the re-ordering of the sanctuary carried out in 2006.
The original pulpit was gifted to the previous Cathedral by a Leeds businessman, Peter O’Hara. He was also the donor of the Sacred Heart Altar which is on the opposite side of the North Transept and was completed after his death in 1902.
The present memorial comprises a cabinet crafted from English oak within which the alabaster surround frames a mosaic panel depicting a scene from St Matthew’s Gospel. This is the occasion when St Peter professes his faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Our Lord then presents him with the ‘Keys of the Kingdom’ thereby establishing the tradition of papal authority, descending from St Peter to his successors as Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ.
The Bishop dedicated the memorial in the presence of members of Mgr McGuire’s family, and a number of his close personal friends. Bishop Marcus was accompanied for the dedication by Mgr McGuire’s successors as Dean of the Cathedral, Canon Michael McCreadie (Dean from 2003 to 2008), Bishop Philip Moger (Dean from 2008-2019) and Canon Matthew Habron (Dean since 2019).