Secondary school, further and higher education visits

As part of a Heritage Lottery Funded Project, St Marie’s Cathedral is now offering free sessions to secondary schools, and further and higher education groups.


These typically include an engaging guided tour in which will students learn, among other things, about the fascinating history of Catholicism in Sheffield and England and the Cathedral’s exciting history. Students will also explore our world-class architectural and artistic treasures, some of which were designed by the renowned 19th-century Catholic architect Augustus W. Pugin. The guided tour lasts approximately 1 hour.

In addition, the sessions include an organ demonstration where students will be able to learn how this fascinating musical instrument works and have a go themselves!

Our secondary school sessions typically take place on Wednesdays (10-11.30am) and have cross-curricular links with Religious Education, History, Music and Art & Design.  

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below for further information.


How to book

This session is available on Wednesdays (10-11.30pm).

If you wish to book your group, please select a date on our online booking system and fill our online booking form.

Please note we kindly ask for at least a month notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do the sessions cost?
The sessions are free of charge, but donations are welcome. Donations will go to our learning programme and restoration fund.
Are toilet facilities available?
Yes, there are toilet facilities at the Cathedral.
How do we get there?
Please find a map here.

The nearest tram stop is Cathedral at the bottom of Fargate, which is pedestrianised. There are numerous bus stops nearby at the Arundel Gate Interchange and on Leopold Street/Pinstone Street. Coaches can drop off passengers on Norfolk Street by the Crucible Theatre, but cannot park there.

The entrance to the Cathedral is on Norfolk Row, opposite Vero Gusto (Norfolk Row is pedestrianised)

Where should we meet you upon arrival?
A member of our team will be waiting for you at the cathedral porch (main entrance).

NB: During the Year of Mercy (from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016), an additional side door (Holy door) will also be opened at St Marie’s, but please come in through the main entrance opposite Vero Gusto.

Is photography allowed at the cathedral?
Yes, it is provided the flash is off.

KS3 Teacher resources: The Reformation and Counter Reformation



Our downloadable resource has been designed in line with the 2014 National Curriculum. It meets the KS3 History objectives with regards to the development of Church, state and society in Britain, in particular The English Reformation and Counter Reformation (Henry VIII to Mary I) and The Elizabethan religious settlement and conflict with Catholics.



Our KS3 resource is made up of a PowerPoint which contains three 30-minute sessions and a Glossary, and three Activity Sheets (see links below).

Session One: The reformation. How did the Reformation affect Catholic worship?

Case study: Pre-Reformation alabaster panels at St Marie’s Cathedral

Related Activity Sheet: Comparing and contrasting Catholic and Protestant Churches and worship

Session Two: The Counter Reformation. The Great debate: which religion should England be?

Related Activity Sheet: The Great Debate

Session Three: How do we worship today? Case study, St Marie’s Cathedral, Sheffield

Related Activity Sheet: Freedom to worship


Learning Objectives

  • To know why the religion of England changed during the Tudor period.
  • To understand the terms ‘Reformation’ and ‘Counter-Reformation’.
  • To compare and contrast Catholic and Protestant places of worship.
  • To study the history of a Catholic Cathedral in the local area.
  • To consider and discuss individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs (SMSC)