Westminster Catholic Cathedral is delighted to announce that Suzi Pendlebury has been appointed as Cathedral Architect, succeeding Michael Drury after his 25 years in the role. She is a highly experienced conservation architect with the firm Caroe Architecture, having worked on a number of high profile repair projects including the major re-roofing of the dome at Ickworth House which is in the care of the National Trust. She is also Architect to the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich and has been overseeing grant-aided repairs at a number of Catholic churches in the diocese of East Anglia, notably the fine Victorian church of St Mary, Great Yarmouth.
Announcing the appointment, Fr Witoń said: ‘We are delighted to have Suzi joining our team at the Cathedral. Her knowledge and experience of repairing important historic buildings will be a great asset to us as we embark on new phases of repair’.
Suzi grew up in Kent, initially captivated by Augustus Pugin’s church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, and went on to study not only further buildings by him but also those of the great ecclesiastical architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries, alongside the main architectural curriculum. She has worked across a range of sectors in sensitive environments and, following an award-winning refurbishment of the 1927 housing for working women in Hampstead Garden suburb, moved to work with Purcell Miller Tritton. There she focussed on works of conservation, repair and sensitive adaption including projects for English Heritage, the Royal Parks and the Palace of Westminster. In 2012, she joined Oliver Caroe, working as his deputy at St Paul’s Cathedral and assisting with other buildings in the firm’s portfolio, such as Ripon Cathedral and York Minster, along with her own appointment for George Gilbert Scott Jnr’s Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich.
She notes: ‘I am delighted to be appointed to the role of Westminster Cathedral Architect. Through all my work I enjoy conserving, repairing and keeping our built heritage thriving through careful interventions. Working not only with churches and cathedrals but with other buildings of high significance, I have built a broad understanding of the ever-changing challenges and opportunities that face these places, as they continue to serve us as our needs and expectations evolve through time. The work of the St Anne’s Gate Practice hitherto has brought the Cathedral to a turning point where it is now possible to fully develop and realise a plan for the future, serving as the Mother Church for our faith in England and Wales. It is a great honour to be able to serve Fr Witoń and the team caring for the Cathedral and its complex of ancillary buildings, conserving their past and ensuring their future’.