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29th Jun, 2022

When and how Worcester Cathedral will fully reopen to visitors following Storm Arwen damage repairs

Rob George 20th Mar, 2022

CATHEDRAL chiefs have unveiled the plans for its full reopening, following damage caused by Storm Arwen in November last year.

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

Since then, visiting and services have been restricted to the nave and the cloister.The east end of the Cathedral has been completely closed, including the quire which houses King John’s tomb – one of the Cathedral’s most popular attractions.

It’s hoped the work will be completed by the end of the summer and will comprise three main stages.

Scaffolding is currently being erected in the Quire to facilitate the cleaning of some 3,000 organ pipes, the majority will be taken off-site for cleaning.

It is hoped the east end of the cathedral, excluding the north quire aisle, will be cleaned and reopened for visiting towards the end of March.

Work will also begin to repair the vault and roof, at the main site of the damage, which will remain sealed off whilst this work is completed.

Once the scaffolding is de-rigged, the quire can be thoroughly cleaned and re-opened for services; a temporary digital organ will be installed in the interim.

From April, scaffolding will once again be erected and the organ pipes reinstalled, resulting in the quire again becoming inaccessible for a short time to facilitate this work.

The third part of the repair work is the carving of the new pinnacle; work which will be largely undertaken by the Cathedral stonemasons.

Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “There is good news and bad. Although it is disappointing the repair work will take around six months to complete, it is not unexpected. With buildings of this age, it is the case that when things go wrong, there is no quick fix.”

 

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