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22nd Jan, 2022

Worcester Cathedral sustains extensive damage in Storm Arwen

WORCESTER Cathedral has reopened to visitors after sustaining severe damage by Storm Arwen.

Visiting and services are currently restricted to the nave and the cloister but the shop and cafe are open as usual.

During the storm on Friday evening, part of a pinnacle from the side of the tower fell through the roof of the north quire aisle.

The Cathedral’s staff and professional advisers worked hard and fast to assess the damage and ensure the safety of visitors.

The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “A team of experts is on-site conducting investigations and making the affected area of roof water and weather-proof. The nave and cloister are unaffected and open and safe for services and visiting.”

The roof’s ribbed vault appears to have buckled under the impact but has not given way which Peter said was a tribute to those unnamed masons who built the east end of the Cathedral in the 13th century.

The damage, though serious, is confined to the aisle.

The hole in the roof now has a temporary covering.

A programme of repair is being planned and a rope access team have today been assessing the tower.

Peter added: “Our plans for Christmas are, at present, able to go ahead, working around the new situation we find ourselves in.

“We do not yet know how long the programme of repair will take, nor how much it will cost, and it is the knock-on effect that we cannot account for.

“We have already lost income over the weekend and are sadly unable to release additional tickets for our popular Christmas Carol and Crib Services as we had planned to this week, as a result of losing capacity in the north transept.”

He added it was a terrible thing to have happened – particularly in the run up to Christmas.

Temporary measures have been put in place to maximise the use of the building which is available but it will take time to get back to normal.

Peter said: “We are grateful to still have the use of the nave and cloister and are so looking forward to welcoming the community to come together and celebrate Christmas with us here at the Cathedral.

“There is a full programme of Christmas events, services and concerts coming up.

“To help us to enable this to go ahead, and for the Cathedral to continue into the future, please consider making a donation to our Christmas Appeal.

“We thank you, in advance, for your generosity and support, without which, we would not be able to open our doors.”

To donate to the Cathedral’s Christmas Appeal 2021, please visit www.worcestercathedral.co.uk/christmas2021 where you can also find details of upcoming services and concerts.

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