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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Restoration and upkeep of cathedrals

0n73560n7355There are some 42 Anglican cathedrals in the UK, not to mention 20 or so Catholic cathedrals. Cathedrals form the most important collection of historic buildings in England. The largest and most ancient are internationally famous, the smallest are usually among the most significant buildings in their region and even the most recent are architectural masterpieces.

Cathedrals and their precincts form archaeological sites of outstanding interest; function as centres of artistic patronage and craft skills; and hold in their collections books and works of art of worldwide importance.

In addition to their beauty and architectural significance, cathedrals generate more than £220 million for the national economy; employ more than 7,000 people, and benefit from the contribution of nearly 15,000 volunteers.

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They welcome more than 11 million adults (27% of the UK population) and more than 300,000 schoolchildren each year. And cathedrals do all of this while remaining in use for their original and central purpose: the worship of God.

The care and maintenance required to safeguard the existing fabric and contents of our cathedrals pose complex and ever-changing challenges, and if cathedrals are to reach out to new audiences and serve the needs of each new generation they must also continue to develop.

The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England offers user guidance here.

New York cathedral gets bespoke furniture to accommodate diverse needs

In March ICS Church Furnishers of the Republic of Ireland announced the successful completion of a bespoke seating project for The Cathedral of St John the Divine, the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. This collaboration began in 2018 when the cathedral sought a solution for their seating needs that would accommodate their diverse range of services and events.

Click here to read the full story.

Richard III cathedral praises ISO Chemie’s load bearing bracket support system

ISO Chemie’s thermal insulating and load bearing bracket support system and sealing tapes have been specified for a new development project at Leicester Cathedral.

The move sees WINFRAMER type 1 units, BLOCO ONE foam sealant tapes and VARIO SD window connection foils installed to support and insulate large Internorm HF410 triple glazed composite windows being fitted in the cathedral’s eye-catching new heritage and learning centre.

Click here to read the full story.

Wells’ famous medieval clock restored and ready to spring forward this weekend

Wells Cathedral’s famous external clockface on the North Transept, which was feared to be irreparable if left in its current state, has been repaired and restored with a programme of work carried out by Cliveden Conservation and other heritage specialists.

Click here to read the full story.

Wales’s medieval jewel now sounds as magnificent as it looks

St Asaph Cathedral dates back 1,400 years, with the current building dating from the 13th century. The cathedral now benefits from a bespoke, comprehensive premium sound system designed and commissioned by expert engineers from Richard King Systems.

Click here to read the full story.

Christ Church Chapter House wins Oxford Preservation Trust Award

Rochester Cathedral is a Grade I listed building and is England’s second oldest Cathedral having been founded in AD 604. Located in the heart of the town of Rochester on the banks of the River Medway, the Cathedral attracts worshippers from across the country as well as many visitors and tourists.

Click here to read the full story.

CES Lighting and Electrical specialists illuminate England’s second oldest Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral is a Grade I listed building and is England’s second oldest Cathedral having been founded in AD 604. Located in the heart of the town of Rochester on the banks of the River Medway, the Cathedral attracts worshippers from across the country as well as many visitors and tourists.

Click here to read the full story.

Newcastle Cathedral - creating a sustainable and adaptable sacred space

Work has completed on Newcastle Cathedral, safeguarding its place at the heart of contemporary city life. Through a series of fundamental changes and innovative design solutions, Purcell – architects and heritage consultants – have designed and delivered a space fit for the 21st Century and beyond.

Click here to read the full story.

Variety of external lighting shows the splendour of Lincoln Cathedral

Standing tall over the city, Lincoln Cathedral is a magnificent and iconic international landmark, and one of Britain’s most spectacular pieces of architecture. Once admired as the tallest building in the world, the spire at Lincoln Cathedral was an impressive feat of engineering, reaching a remarkable 525 feet before the central spire collapsed in 1548, nearly 250 years after its completion, and was never replaced.

Click here to read the full story.

'Common Ground in Sacred Space' - restoration project keeps Newcastle Cathedral at the heart of city life

Once a guiding light for ships sailing up the River Tyne, this hill-top, metropolitan Cathedral represents, in stone and glass, over seven centuries of Newcastle’s development.

Click here to read the full story.

Integration of ancient and modern is the aspiration

Low carbon consultancy MTA is a practice that specialises in the sympathetic conservation of culturally significant buildings during the integration of modern services.

With over 20 years of experience, the team at MTA have a comprehensive understanding of the complex rivalry between historical architecture and modern comfort. With an aspiration to ‘repair rather than replace’ they aim to preserve the historic fabric of these important structures.

Click here to read the full story.

A brief history of artificial lighting at Ely Cathedral

Light Perception, specialist lighting consultants for historic buildings, has recently been appointed as lighting consultants to Ely Cathedral and, having designed a new scheme for the octagon – featured on the front cover of our latest issue – is now designing a new scheme for the interior.

This article, by director Bruce Kirk, describes some of the earlier artificial lighting schemes in the cathedral and explains what lessons have been learned from understanding the work of past designers.

Click here for further information.

Work will take place to conserve Birmingham Cathedral’s world-famous Burne-Jones windows!

Birmingham Cathedral has been awarded over £640,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to support an extensive programme of conservation work to the cathedral’s remarkable stained-glass windows.

Click here for further information.

Historic metalwork specialists repair the Maclagan Crozier

When the Crozier head on Lichfield Cathedral's Maclagan Crozier had broken away from the central stem, as a result of the screw thread being overtightened, the cathedral's treasurer appointed Shropshire-based Historic Metalwork Conservation Company (HMCC Ltd) to carry out the repair.

Click here for further information.

Wells Cathedral awarded a £578k grant by National Lottery Heritage Fund to implement major project

Wells Cathedral in Somerset has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for its ‘Vicars’ Close: A Medieval Street Singing Through the Centuries’ project. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to make a number of the historic properties on Vicars’ Close in Wells accessible to the public for the first time, to better share their rich history.

Click here to read the full story.

Roofing specialists help keep Durham’s jewel in good order

Durham Cathedral has a rich and varied history. Founded as a monastic cathedral at the beginning of the 12th century, it was built as both a place of worship and the home of a Benedictine community. Over the past century it has served a multi-use purpose and is a church of the Anglican Communion as well as being a shrine to St Cuthbert, the seat of the Bishop of Durham and a place of pilgrimage and spirituality.

Click here to read the full story.

Repair work to Peterborough Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Andrew in Peterborough is one of the great surviving medieval buildings and one of the UK’s top 10 landmarks. The present building is the third on its site, dating from a rebuilding started in 1118.

Click here to read the full story.

Cathedrals at Night: new nationwide campaign invites visitors to see the historic and sacred space of Bristol Cathedral in a new light

Bristol Cathedral will open after hours to welcome in visitors for free, part of the first coordinated nationwide Cathedrals at Night campaign in the UK.

Click here to read the full story.

Kentec’s new K-Mesh wireless technology wins praise for Chester Cathedral project

K-Mesh, a next-generation wireless fire detection technology from Kentec Electronics, a leading manufacturer of life-critical control solutions, is winning deserved praise from the installer of a new system protecting the historic Chester Cathedral.

Click here to read the full story.

Ensuring rights of access to heritage sites

In 2010 the Equality Act came into force requiring all buildings to have disabled access. The access requirements go further than just the obvious as they also cover people who are visiting and/or working in the building. Heritage sites must ensure equal access for every user or visitor into all parts, including the historical part of the building. Richard Williams, divisional director of the Assent Group and Oculus Building Consultancy, explains.

Click here to read the full story.

Cathedral’s development plan boosted by Wolfson grant

The development plan for Exeter Cathedral has received a major boost in the form of a £400,000 award from the Wolfson Foundation. Launched in 2020 with The Prince of Wales as Patron, the appeal aims to raise funds for a programme of heritage conservation, building work and improvements.

Click here to read the full story.

Conservation of the nave ceiling at Ely Cathedral

The magnificent painted timber ceiling in the nave of Ely Cathedral was painted between 1858 and 1862 by Henry Styleman le Strange, a gentleman artist from Hunstanton and completed, following his death, by Thomas Gambier Parry.

Click here to read the full story.

Conservation and relocation of the Richard III statue at Leicester Cathedral

Following an initial condition survey, Hirst Conservation were honoured to be invited to undertake the conservation and relocation of the Richard III statue as part of a £2.5M project to regenerate Leicester cathedral gardens.

Click here to read the full story.

Reinterment of Richard III Project at Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral, in conjunction with the Richard III Society, the University of Leicester and the City Council, began the Reinterment of Richard III Project in 2013. The project, to provide King Richard’s final resting place, involves a series of changes to the inside of the Cathedral to create a significant space for the raised tomb, with a new floor, special lighting and new stained glass windows. The £0.5 million project was completed in 2015.

Click here to read the full story.

Leicester Cathedral Revealed

Leicester Cathedral is being restored and renewed so that it can be its very best as a place of worship, heritage, pilgrimage, hospitality, learning, sanctuary and celebration. The work is necessary because the cathedral spaces are inflexible and inadequate for current and future use. The infrastructure - lighting, heating and decorations – needs to be upgraded. And the tenfold increase in visitors, who come to see the tomb of King Richard III, has made the need more urgent. That is why it has been decided not only to restore the Cathedral but to transform it.

Click here to read the full story.


Southwark Cathedral


Make sure your cathedral can be enjoyed by all

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Choose the right equipment for your building

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Changing liturgical practices, and diversifying uses of cathedrals

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The liturgical dimension of works affecting a cathedral

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Things to consider before lending an object

York Minster


Let us help you through the commissioning process

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Follow our guide on how to make an application under the Measure

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Guidance on creating and developing a conservation management plan

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Make use of your building for mission, welcome and public engagement



Help on how physical artefacts may impact on mission and worship

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Enabling every cathedral to compile its inventory

For further information visit the Church Care website here.