The Cathedral and the Community

St Magnus Cathedral is in many ways the hub of community life within Kirkwall and Orkney. It is the focal point for many civic services, such as Remembrance Sunday, School Carol Services, Arts and Science Festival services and many others.

In 2016 there was a service to commemorate the battle of Jutland which was attended by HRH Princess Anne and the president of Germany and which was televised worldwide. The congregation is very aware of its responsibility to ensure that the people of Orkney, to whom the Cathedral belongs, have opportunities to make use of the building in as wide a variety of ways as possible.

The Cathedral, with its amazing acoustics, is a very popular venue for musical concerts and recitals, recordings, lectures and drama productions. It is a major venue for the world renowned St Magnus Arts Festival, held around midsummer. Bookings for such events may be made by contacting the custodian.


Tours of the upper parts of the Cathedral are available through the Custodian service.

During the summer months the Cathedral welcomes many tourists and visitors. We strive to provide a space for quiet reflection with our Votive Candles available for people to light and take time to meditate.

St Magnus Centre

The Cathedral community seeks to be involved in local life and offers hospitality through the St Magnus Centre to locals and visitors alike.

The St Magnus Way

The Cathedral is also the final point on The St Magnus Way, a 55 mile route of pilgrimage on the Orkney mainland which traces the route thought to have been followed by those who brought the body of St Magnus from where he was martyred in Egilsay to Kirkwall where his remains are now interred within a pillar in the Cathedral.