Tabora Cathedral Building, Tanzania

tabora-cathedral-constructionThe Tabora Cathedral building was the vision of the late John Burden, who dreamed of constructing a cathedral in the small Tanzanian town of Tabora as part of a charity project called ‘Raising the Roof’.

REIDsteel were asked to design and undertake the construction the steel framework for this place of community worship.

The cathedral building spans 45 m long and 18m wide, with a seating capacity of 1012. It is designed to resist wind, accidental loads, earthquakes and ‘snow’ loads.

tabora-cathedral-construction- erection poleAn erection pole was supplied by REIDsteel to allow the steel frames of the cathedral building to be constructed without the use of a crane.

This is a particularly useful tool to have in developing countries like Tanzania, where large machinery is hard to come by and expensive to hire. The parts were designed to be lightweight to allow for easy construction of the church building using this technique.

The church building was not normal portal frames but steel trusses made of rectangular box section, designed in an uplifting style: so much so that the client likened the trial erection, with the elegant truss suspended, as ‘the Angel of the South’!
The purlins were all galvanised rectangular box section steel to give a clean light appearance, and to avoid bird nesting probSteel framed cross featurelems.

tabora-cathedral-construction-01A 3 m high cross feature was incorporated in the steel frame work of the church building.

Frosted glass tiles were then inserted into the building frame to create a stained glass window. A large and very visible cross was incorporated as part of the steel structure.

An interesting part of this construction project was the installation of a water storage facility, which consisted of four 10,000 litre tanks placed under the ground to harvest rain from the roof of the building during the rainy season. REIDsteel were able to provide the guttering and downpipes for this.

You may like to show everyone who helped with the creation of this wonderful cathedral in Tanzania these posters. The cathedral is to be officially opened Sunday 5th July by the Prime Minister and Archbishop of Tanzania.

Thank you so much, especially to Rollo, for everything you did to make the “impossible” become possible! We do so much realise that without you this probably would never have been built. It is already in use and when 2000 people worship there they ask how they can make it bigger!!!!

Ray Latimer


Tabora Cathedral Building – Finished Project

Tabora Cathedral Building project in Tanzania