The Gathering Place
St. Andrew’s is a gathering place. The Cathedral opens its doors to institutions such as the University of Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Pacific University, the Honolulu Symphony Musicians, the Symphony Chorus, and the Hawaiʻi Vocal Arts Ensemble. They find a home here for forums and lectures, concerts, performances, and conferences, as do the St. Andrew Schools and ‘Iolani School.
Music at the Cathedral has been a hallmark of life here from the beginning. The tradition of sharing our history and story and joining our neighbors at cultural events further defines the Cathedral as part of the community life of Hawaiʻi and Oʻahu. And that furthers the mission of spreading God’s love through Jesus Christ.
The Heart of the Diocese
St. Andrew’s provides meeting spaces for many Diocesan events, including regional confirmations, ordinations, conventions, Council meetings and workshops. The Diocese graciously shares expenses of operating the Memorial Building.
The Spiritual Home of the Priory
St. Andrews is the chapel for The St. Andrew Schools, originally founded by Queen Emma in 1862. From their campus on to the Cathedral Close, the students parade to Chapel service in the Cathedral during weekdays and attend special services throughout the school calendar associated with school tradition.
The Cathedral Historian, in concert with the Diocesan Archivist, assists in documenting and preserving history and recording events to serve as a resource for the future as a window into the past.
Building History and Architecture
The cathedral was originally commissioned by King Kamehameha IV, Hawaii’s most anglophile king. After he died on St. Andrew’s Day, 1863, his widow took on the project. Queen Emma, formally named Emma Kalanikaumakaʻamano Kaleleonālani Naʻea Rooke, was the granddaughter of Englishman John Young, an adviser of Kamehameha the Great, who was baptized by the first Anglican clergyman to arrive on the islands. Queen Emma traveled to Europe to raise funds for the cathedral. The king’s brother and successor, Kamehameha V, laid the cornerstone in 1867 and dedicated the church to St. Andrew in tribute.
The cathedral was built in the French Gothic architectural style of stone, some of which was shipped from Caen in Normandy in several pre-fabricated pieces. The first phase of the cathedral was completed in 1886, a year after Queen Emma died. Subsequent phases extended the nave were completed in 1888, 1908. The congregation changed its allegiance to Episcopalian in 1902 after Hawai’i became an American territory. The final phase, designed by Carlton M. Winslow, was added in 1958 and features the Great West Window, a wall of floor-to-eaves stained glass designed by John Wallis.